Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clinton: US wants Kurds to solve disputes peacefully

By Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Rudaw - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met the Kurdish president on Tuesday and said the US has three messages for the Kurds. She said the goal is to ‘encourage the Kurdish leadership to work toward a peaceful resolution of some of the disputed boundaries.'

Kurdistan’s president Massoud Barzani arrived in America on Tuesday to meet the American president Obama and other US officials. Hillary Clinton reaffirmed US support for the Iraqi constitution in a meeting with the Kurdish president and lauded the Kurdistan Regional Government for its progress, according to the KRG's US representative Qubad Talabany.

In a statement, Clinton said US has three messages for the Kurds. “One is to encourage the Kurdish leadership to work toward a peaceful resolution of some of the disputed boundaries, particularly around Kirkuk.” Secondly the US asked the Kurds to support the elections and the election of a legitimate government ‘that can be put into place as soon as possible’. Clinton said the Kurds will have a major role in determining who ends up in those positions.

Apart from this America wants to reassure President Barzani and other Kurdish leaders that the United States is very supportive of Kurdish aspirations and the security of the Kurdish people. “But we do expect that the Kurdish leadership will take an important role in trying to stabilize Iraq, trying to work with the Sunni and Shia leadership, for the betterment of the entire country. So working out the oil revenue law, for example, is something that is very important to all Iraqis. And it will benefit all Iraqis if it can be finalized.”

Clinton emphasized is was a message of ‘both reassurance and requests about what we would like to see the Kurdish leadership do going forward’.

It is noteworthy that this first visit of Barzani to Washington since the arrival of Obama to the White House. His last visit to Washington was in 2008, during the presidency of George W. Bush. The KRG delegation also plans to promote investment in Kurdistan and to explain the Kurdish position on thorny issues in Iraq to the US congress and officials. On Tuesday, Massoud Barzani also met with the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Photo: Rudaw)

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