Iraqi Kurdistan: Obama and Barzani Discuss Possible Kurdish Independence
The President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Massoud Barzani, travelled to Washington for a three-day visit, which included a meeting with US President Barack Obama. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed various subjects including the war between the Kurds and IS, relations between Baghdad and Erbil, and the establishment of an independent Kurdish State.
Below is an article published by ARAnews:
On Sunday [3 April 2015], at the invitation of the White House, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, is meeting President Barack Obama, on an official three-day visit.
Chief of Staff to the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Dr. Fuad Hussein, said that the establishment of an independent Kurdish state, defining the boundaries of the Kurdistan Region, the Kurds’ war against Daesh (the Islamic State group IS/ISIS), the battle to regain Mosul from the terrorists, and relations between Erbil and Baghdad are major subjects of Barzani’s talks in Washington.
Hussein added in a statement that President Barzani will plead the case for a Kurdish state with the White House, and will deliberate with the U.S. president, pointing out that Barzani has already sent a message to President Obama, in which he stressed the right of the Kurds to self-determination.
In a related development, spokeswoman of the U.S. Department of State, Marie Harf, said, on Thursday, that Barzani’s visit on Sunday, includes talks with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and with Assistant Secretary of State Anthony Blinken regarding the military campaign to weaken and eliminate the Islamic State group.
The Kurdish Peshmerga are considered, by the U.S. government, the key element in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq.
Kurdish activist Abdullah Syed Ismail told ARA News: “It is no longer a secret the role played by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the face of the strongest terrorist group in modern history.”
“The stabilizing role Barzani plays in regional and international policy-making has turned the Kurdistan Region into a popular destination for those seeking geopolitical solutions in the region,” Ismail argued, adding that the strong calls for establishing an independent Kurdish state ــ especially the declaration of the U.S. presidency candidates ــ confirms what was announced by President Barzani who said: “the Sykes-Picot borders were diminished, and the new borders in the region are being drawn with blood.”
The Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved a bill requiring the U.S. government to recognize the Kurdistan Region of Iraq as an independent state, within the framework of the approval of the defense and foreign aid for the 2016 budget, which implies providing military assistance to the Peshmerga forces and Sunni militias fighting ISIL in the areas populated with Sunni Arab majority.
During his visit to Washington, Barzani is accompanied by the Minister of Peshmerga Mustafa Sayid Qadir, the head of foreign relations in the Region Falah Mustafa, and Minister of Housing and Reconstruction in the KRG Derbaz Rasool.