July 17, 2017

Head of DFR in Washington to meet with senior US Government officials

Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir joins KRG Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman this week to brief American government officials, lawmakers, and press about a range of issues including Kurdistan’s upcoming referendum of independence.

Minister Mustafa and Representative Abdul Rahman were hosted for a meeting at the White House with National Security Council staff to discuss the ongoing war against the ISIS terrorist organization, the future of governance and stability in areas recently liberated from ISIS, and the referendum on Kurdistan’s independence, which is scheduled for September 25. In the meeting with NSC Middle East Senior Director Derek Harvey; Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria Joel Rayburn; and Director for Iraq Charles Pfaff, Minister Mustafa thanked the United States and the International Coalition for providing ongoing support to Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS. In discussing the referendum, he urged the administration officials to view the referendum as a solution to the question of post-ISIS governance, rather than a problem.

The delegation visited the State Department to conduct two meetings with senior administration officials to discuss a range of issues related to governance, security, KRG-Baghdad relations, and the humanitarian situation in Kurdistan. The first meeting was with Ambassador Stuart E. Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary; and Peter Shea, Director of the Iraq Desk, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. They also met separately with Ambassador Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Business leaders with the US-Kurdistan Business Council joined Minister Mustafa at the KRG Representation in Washington for a briefing session. He told the group that despite the challenges posed by the war with ISIS and the financial crisis, ‘Kurdistan remains open for business and a friendly environment for international investors’.

In the evening, Minister Mustafa met with Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Fareed Yasseen at the Iraqi Embassy.

Minister Mustafa will be in Washington throughout the week to speak with members of Congress, administration officials, regional experts, and the media.
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