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Political Transition in Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Nov 10, 2017

The United States commends the decision of Masoud Barzani not to seek an additional term as President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. The U.S. also supports the vote of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament to distribute presidential authorities to other Kurdish Regional Government, or KRG, institutions.

“President Barzani,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, “is a historic figure and courageous leader of his people, most recently in our common fight to destroy ISIS. This decision represents an act of statesmanship during a difficult period.”

The United States now looks forward to engaging actively with the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani. A strong Kurdish Regional Government within a ‎unified and federal Iraq is essential to its long-term stability and to the enduring defeat of ISIS. “We call on all Kurdish parties to support the KRG as it works to resolve pending issues over the remainder of its term and prepare for elections in 2018.” said Ms. Nauert.

A still image taken from a video shows Kurdish President Masoud Barzani giving a televised speech in Erbil, Iraq, Oct. 29, 2017.
A still image taken from a video shows Kurdish President Masoud Barzani giving a televised speech in Erbil, Iraq, Oct. 29, 2017.

The U.S. calls on the government of Iraq and the KRG under its new leadership to resolve pending issues under the Iraqi constitution. “We have been encouraged by the security dialogue that has taken place in recent days, and call for an end to all confrontations and clashes,” said Ms. Nauert.

The U.S. also continues to support the strong leadership of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi as he works to ensure the total defeat of ISIS and a stable Iraq after ISIS. The United States welcomes the recent decision from Prime Minister Abadi to begin a new dialogue with the KRG, under the Iraqi constitution, and avoid further confrontations.

The U.S. will continue to work with all parties as they address these issues for the benefit of all Iraqis. It is time for all parties to look to the future and focus on peaceful resolution of disputes under the Iraqi constitution.