Kurdistan Regional Government
Representation in the United States

Washington, D.C.
July 2015 Newsletter
Welcome to our July 2015 Newsletter

As we celebrate the Eid Holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan, it is important that we remember the thousands of Peshmerga serving on the front lines. Away from their families, they serve and sacrifice, not only to protect Kurdistan's diverse population but also the 1.8 million people that have found refuge in our borders. We offer our condolences and gratitude to the families of those who have been killed fighting ISIS and upholding freedom.

We also think of the many refugees and displaced people have lost members of their families, their homes, and their communities to the violence and chaos that ISIS has wrought. 

This July the KRG Representation in Washington has continued our outreach to members of Congress (pictured with Rep. McGovern), the US Administration, and the diplomatic corps.

On July 30, the KRG Representation will be hosting a reception to thank veterans of US military operations in Kurdistan and Iraq. We invite US military personnel, Kurdish community members, and all of our friends to join us in commemorating this relationship

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman
Representative to the United States
Kurdistan Regional Government
President Barzani meets with US Ambassador to Iraq

President Masoud Barzani received a United States delegation headed by US Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones. During the meeting President Barzani and Ambassador Jones discussed the latest security and military developments in the Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq.

President Barzani and the US delegation also spoke of the relations between Erbil and the Federal Government in Baghdad and the need for even more enhanced cooperation between the two.

PM Barzani receives US Chief of Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq and his successor

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Lt. General Mick Bednarek, the United States Chief of Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, and his accompanying military and diplomatic delegation on July 1.


Lt. Gen. Bednarek visited the Prime Minister on the occasion of the end of his duty in Iraq and introduced his successor, Major General Paul LaCamera. General Bednarek thanked KRG, the Ministry of Peshmerga, and Peshmerga Forces who, he said, have offered full cooperation and assistance during his mission.


Read a press release here.

KRG US Representation to host reception in honor of veterans of US military operations


On July 30, the KRG Representation in Washington will host a reception for veterans of military operations in Kurdistan and Iraq. The day corresponds with the 24th anniversary of the end of Operation Provide Comfort I, and the beginning of Provide Comfort II, and will be an opportunity to thank all US military personnel for their service and sacrifices for the people of Kurdistan and Iraq. 


We invite all former US military personnel, US and coalition government officials, Kurdish community members, and friends to join us in commemorating the long relationship between the US military and the people of Kurdistan.


See the invitation here.

RSVP for the event here. 

Representative Abdul Rahman meets with members of Congress returning from Kurdistan


Following two Congressional delegations to Kurdistan, Representative Abdul Rahman met separately with Representatives Welch (pictured) and McGovern, who had joined the June delegations. They discussed what the delegations had learned, and the growing relationship between the US and the KRG. 


The delegations met with President Barzani and Prime Minister Barzani, and expressed support for the Peshmerga Forces in the fight against ISIS. 


Read a press release of Congress members' meetings with the President.

Read a press release of Congress members' meetings with the Prime Minister.

KRG increases direct oil sales

The KRG has increased its direct oil sale in June due to the 'significant debt backlog arising from the budget cuts of 2014 imposed by the federal government, and the need to pay down debts accumulated in 2014 from pre-payments for oil sales', KRG Ministry of Natural Resources said in its June Export Report.

Due to these difficulties, the KRG Ministry of Natural Resources has been obliged to increase its independent oil sale, the report said.

UN supports dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad 


Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, received United Nations Special Representative for Iraq Jan Kubis and his accompanying delegation on July 15.


Mr. Kubis expressed his satisfaction for the level of cooperation and coordination between KRG institutions and UN agencies, and thanked the KRG for the assistance it has offered to those displaced into Kurdistan. He also stressed that the UN supports KRG's efforts in settling its differences with Baghdad through dialogue, pointing out that they are willing to help the Kurdistan Region in this regard. He reiterated the need for all the parties to commit to the agreement reached between the two sides. 


Read a press release here.

Representative Abdul Rahman meets with Hungarian Ambassador Szemerkenyi

KRG Representative to the US Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman met with Hungarian Ambassador to the US Reka Szemerkenyi on July 7 to discuss humanitarian and security developments in Kurdistan.  

In April, Hungary authorized 150 military troops to take part in training Peshmerga Forces personnel. Hungary has also supported those displaced into Kurdistan with financial and material donations.

US Consulate hosts July 4 celebration in Erbil


The US Consulate in Erbil and the American Kurdish Friendship Association hosted a July 4 Independence Day celebration at the Rotana Hotel in Erbil. US Consul Joseph Pennington and Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir both delivered remarks on the deepening relationship between the US and the Kurdistan Region. 

Representative Abdul Rahman meets with KDP and PUK officials in Washington

Representative Abdul Rahman met with representatives of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on July 8. 
The KRG Representation in Washington hosted member of the PUK Politburo Sadi Ahmed Pire and Head of KDP Foreign Relations Hemin Hawrami separately to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Kurdistan, the fight against ISIS, and the ongoing negotiation with the federal government in Baghdad. 

During his visit, Hemin Hawrami delivered remarks and answered questions at the Middle East Institute in Washington. Sadi Ahmed Pire also addressed the Kurdish community in Fairfax, Virginia.

Peshmerga forces repel multiple attacks by ISIS near Kirkuk

On July 6, Peshmerga forces repelled several attacks by ISIS terrorists on villages south of Kirkuk.  International Coalition warplanes in the vicinity of the area conducted a series of airstrikes shortly after the attack. There were 16 airstrikes on ISIS positions, including two suicide car bombs and one pickup truck, allowing Peshmerga forces to advance and defeat the enemy.  By 7:00 am, Peshmerga forces supported by International Coalition airstrikes remained in complete control of the area. 

Almost 7,700 square miles have been cleared of ISIS elements since August 2014. Peshmerga forces continue to hold positions north, east and west of Mosul and control strategic ISIS supply routes between Iraq and Syria. 

Kurdistan in the media


Escaping ISIS

Gripping, first-hand accounts of women who escaped ISIS, and the network that helps them

PBS Frontline


Interview with Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman

KRG Rep talks Kurdish history and the future of Kurdistan

Nicole Sandler, radioornot.com


Arming the Kurds to defeat ISIS

'Arming the Kurds is a diplomatic risk worth taking.'

Douglas Burton and Marios  Efthymiopolous, Washington Times


Kurds 'punching above our weight' says KRG's new face in Washington

'The KRG is committed to having good relations with all of our neighbors and with the international community.' 

Hajir Sharifi, Rudaw