Kurdistan Regional Government - Iraq
Representation in the United States

Washington, D.C.
December 2014 Newsletter

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman confirmed as KRG Representative to the United States


The Kurdistan Regional Government Council of Ministers has appointed the current KRG Representative to the United Kingdom, Ms. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, as the new KRG Representative to the United States of America. She is expected to arrive in Washington in early 2015.

Commenting on this decision, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa said, "Based on the KRG's policy to develop its foreign relations and under the recommendation of the President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, as well as the fact that this important post has been vacant for a period of time, Ms. Rahman has been appointed as the KRG's new Representative to the United States of America."
KRG Deputy Prime Minister tells Washington, 'This is Iraq's last chance'

During a speech to an audience of top Washington scholars and officials at the Center from Strategic International Studies, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Qubad Talabani said, 'Iraq can only be saved if Baghdad is willing to devolve some of its powers to regional authorities and be more inclusive of minorities.' He said that the poor policies of the previous government alienated the Sunnis of the country, adding, 'The Islamic State did not fill a security vacuum, but a political vacuum.'

The DPM concluded a four-day visit to Washington on Thursday, December 11, 2014. The visit included meetings with influential members of Congress, US administration, and defense officials. He updated the officials on the political, security, and humanitarian developments in the Kurdistan Region, and asked their continued support of the KRG's efforts to resolve outstanding issues with Baghdad.

The visit included numerous events at leading think tanks, a roundtable discussion with US business leaders, a town hall meeting with Kurdish community members, and interviews with several news agencies.

Mr. Talabani published an opinion in the Wall Street Journal. A full press release of his visit can be found here.

Ship departs Baltimore with warm clothing gathered by KRG-US Pack-the-Crate drive


Warm clothing and essential winterizing supplies gathered by KRG-US and the Kurdish community left the port of Baltimore on Tuesday, bound for displaced persons in the Kurdistan Region. The ship will arrive in the port of Mersin in early January. KRG-US Director Najat Abdullah will coordinate the distribution of the supplies in Kurdistan. 

Many thanks to the Kurdish community for their support, to Ali Ghaderi of Best Auto Glass for providing his facility and packaging supplies, and to Nordana USA for donating the sea transport.

Future collections will be scheduled in the new year. 

NDAA includes funding for Peshmerga, exempts KDP and PUK from Tier-3 terror designation

On Friday December 12, Congress sent the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act to be signed into law by President Obama. Among the provisions in the $560 billion bill is an allocation for $5.6 billion for the Iraq Train and Equip Fund, $1.6 billion of which will be used to arm Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi Security Forces units in the fight against ISIS. 

The bill also exempts the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) from being designated as Tier-3 terrorist organizations. The Patriot Act of 2001 designates groups that have taken up arms against their government as Tier-3 organizations. In this case, the KDP and PUK had fought the regime of Saddam Hussein, which included them in the classification. KRG-US applauds Congress for correcting this error. Following the removal of the groups, President Masoud Barzani is expected to visit the United States in 2015.

Peshmerga lift siege of Mount Sinjar


At 1830hrs on 18 December 2014 Peshmerga forces successfully concluded their operation to break the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) siege against Mt. Sinjar. 8000 Peshmerga participated in the operation, which began at 0415hrs on 17 December with International Coalition airstrikes followed by a ground-based assault.

This operation represents the single biggest military offensive against ISIS and the most successful. In addition to suffering heavy casualties, ISIS' morale has suffered a devastating blow. ISIS fighters have been fleeing in large numbers towards the Syrian border and towards ISIS strongholds such as Tal 'Afar and Mosul.


A full press release from the Kurdistan Region Security Council is here.

Iraqi MP Vian Dakhil Shammo to brief Kurdish community on plight of Yezidis


KRG-US will host a town hall meeting for the Kurdish-American community with The Honorable Vian Dakhil Shammo, the only Yezidi member of Iraqi Parliament, to learn about the current plight of the Yezidi people. Ms. Dakhil is in Washington to meet with US administration, lawmakers, and humanitarians in regards to the genocide of the Yezidi people in the wake of the Islamic State.   


The event will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn at 3950 Fair Ridge Drive in Fairfax, VA, 3:00 PM on Saturday, December 20. 


KRG-US was honored to host Ms. Dakhil for a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on December 11. 

US Congressional delegation reiterates support for Kurdistan and Peshmerga

Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, on Tuesday received US Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, and his accompanying delegation of congressmen, along with the Deputy US Ambassador to Iraq, US General Consul to the Kurdistan Region and a number of advisers. 


The delegation praised the security and stability which prevail in the Kurdistan Region, and lauded KRG for accommodating and protecting a large number of internally displaced people and refugees.


The delegation commended the Peshmerga forces in their fight against terrorism and stressed that the Kurdistan Region has many friends in the United States, and that they will continue to support the Kurdistan Region.


Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, also welcomed the delegation to Kurdistan and expressed appreciation and gratitude for the continued support of the United States for Kurdistan Region.


A press release of Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani's meeting can be found here.

A press release of Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir's meeting can be found here.

KRG-US in the media

Margeret Warner for PBS NewsHour -

Lara Jakes for the Associated Press - 
Iraqi Kurd urges regional rule for Iraqi Sunnis

Platts Energy Week - 

Qubad Talabani in Wall Street Journal - 

Center for Strategic International Studies - 

KurdSat - 

Kurdistan TV - 

Kurdistan TV - 
Photo credits:
KRG.org, KRG-US, KRG-US, Twitter/@mutludc, KRG-US, KRG.org

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

Kurdistan Regional Government - Iraq
Representation in the United States

1532 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036 USA