Iraqi Kurds are awaiting their share of the results of the visit of the Federal Prime Minister to Washington

Iraqi Kurds are awaiting their share of the results of the visit of the Federal Prime Minister to Washington


Iraqi Kurds are awaiting their share of the results of the visit of the Federal Prime Minister to WashingtonThe visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani to the United States represents, in the view of the authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, an opportunity to remind Washington of its obligations towards the region, which stood behind the establishment of its experiment in self-rule, and bears a moral responsibility to support that experiment and protect it from the danger of collapse after it has become subject to increasing pressure from Before Iran and its influential allies in the Iraqi federal state.

Erbil (Iraq) – The authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, led by the Kurdistan Democratic Party, are among the most optimistic Iraqi parties regarding the results of the visit made by the Prime Minister of the Federal Government, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, to the United States of America, knowing that the issue of the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil was included in Al-Sudani’s talks with US President Joe Biden and the pillars of his administration, based on the supposed American concern for the cohesion of the region and protecting its experience of self-rule, which Washington had stood behind its establishment.

Wael Al-Rikabi, a member of the delegation accompanying the Iraqi Prime Minister to Washington, said that the American side raised during the discussions during the visit the issue of “the relationship between the center and the Kurdistan region and the importance of dialogue to strengthen it.”

The leaders of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the most prominent of which belong to the Barzani family, hope that the American administration will play a direct role in alleviating the political, security and economic pressures on the region, which in recent years has become vulnerable to those pressures exerted by Iran and its allies who are strongly involved in ruling Iraq, and which have taken on a security and military nature through strikes. Missile and drone attacks on sites in the region, some of which were carried out by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and others by Iraqi Shiite militias loyal to Tehran.

These pressures also took on a political and financial nature, which was evident in the extremism of the Shiite parties and factions participating in the Sudanese government regarding the issue of empowering the Kurdistan region with its share in the federal state budget, and their refusal in many cases to provide its authorities with sufficient funds to pay the salaries of its employees on the basis that those authorities obtain resources from Border crossings and the export of oil extracted from the region before export stopped via the pipeline between Kirkuk and the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

The authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan region believe that American political support for them has become a reality, and it was evident through the statements of senior officials in the Biden administration during the recent visit made by the Prime Minister of the Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, to the United States.

But what these authorities are now looking forward to is for the American administration to exert real pressure on the Iraqi government to rein in Iran’s allies participating in that government and stop their pressure on the region, and for Washington to provide tangible support to protect the security and stability of Iraqi Kurdistan from harassment by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Shiite militias.

The regional government also hopes that Sudanese’s visit to Washington will result in a practical solution to the issue of oil export via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan line, which has been halted due to a lawsuit filed earlier by the Iraqi government against the Turkish authorities for their participation in exporting Kurdistan region oil outside the legal frameworks of the Iraqi state.

The United States had expressed, through its ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski, its interest in this file, as the ambassador said, “Benefiting from the oil and gas of the Kurdistan region will help Iraq achieve independence in the field of energy.”

The ambassador explained that, as part of the preparations for Sudanese’s visit to the United States, she discussed with Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdul-Ghani Iraq’s independence in the field of energy for the benefit of the Iraqis.

But simply resuming exports through the aforementioned pipeline does not alone represent the solution required by the Iraqi Kurdistan government, as that government hopes for American intervention with the Sudanese government so that the federal authorities do not completely control the export process and the financial resources derived from it, which will cancel the region’s role and prevent its access. To a direct share in those resources.

On a security and military level, Iraqi Kurdish parties explicitly demand that any logistical and technical support that Washington can provide to the Iraqi forces include the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. They also demand the provision of an air defense system to protect the region from missile and drone attacks.

Bakhtiar Muhammad, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Peshmerga, said that any support and arming of the security sector in Iraq also includes the Peshmerga forces.

The leaders of the Kurdistan Democratic Party hope that the American administration will play a direct role in alleviating the political, security, and economic pressures on the region.

This came in response to the discussions held by the Iraqi Prime Minister during his visit to Washington with the delegation of the American company General Dynamics regarding developing the Iraqi military institution and supporting it with various types of modern weapons, including developing the tanks in the possession of the Iraqi army to make them suitable for operating in the fields of Iraq with all their natural and climatic characteristics.

In an interview with the local Rudaw media network, Bakhtiar expressed his optimism about the visit of the Iraqi government delegation headed by Al-Sudani to the United States, saying that the discussions that took place in Washington about the Iraqi forces included the Peshmerga forces “because they are part of the military and security system in Iraq.”

The demands of the Iraqi Kurdistan authorities from Washington go beyond merely including the Peshmerga in support, to an actual American contribution to protecting the region’s area from attacks by Iran and its allies by implementing previous promises from the Pentagon to provide Iraqi forces, including the Kurdish Peshmerga, with air defense systems.

The defense budget approved in the United States last December included an item related to providing Iraq and the Kurdistan region with air defense systems to confront attacks by drones and missiles, and for American forces to train the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces to use these systems.

However, parties concerned with US policy in the Middle East warn that the Iraqi Kurds are over-relying on Washington to protect their region and support it in the face of the pressures it is exposed to, based on the regression and failure shown by the current US administration in supporting its allies in the region.

They believe that the first foundation for the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s steadfastness in the face of pressure is to preserve its unity and internal cohesion, something that is not available yet given the extent of the conflicts between the two major parties leading the region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by members of the Barzani family, and the Patriotic Union Party of Kurdistan led by The heirs of former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, from a sharpness that affected even the security aspect through the division of the regional army and police (Peshmerga and Asayish) between the two parties, in addition to their involvement in the policy of axes, with the Union Party siding with Iran’s allies in Iraq, in exchange for the Democratic Party turning into an ally of Turkey and a supporter. Because of its influence in the region and Iraq in general.

So far, the Biden administration has shown clear political support for the authorities of the Kurdistan region, whose leadership is waiting to be translated into actions and measures on the ground.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, following a recent meeting with the region’s Prime Minister Masrour Barzani during the latter’s visit to Washington, that the United States still supports the steadfast Kurdistan region as the cornerstone of its relationship with Iraq, while a statement issued by the White House on the occasion of the visit confirmed that the United States continues to support the region. Economically and to help it maintain its security and stability.