Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama reaffirms US support for Kurdistan


Washington - President Obama reaffirmed strong U.S. support for and engagement with a secure, prosperous, and autonomous Kurdistan Region within a united, federal Iraq on Monday in a meeting with the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani.

U.S. President Barack Obama offered on Monday to help in resolving differences between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad's central government before a crucial election in March reports Xinhua.

Obama encouraged Barzani to take constructive action on issues that divide Iraq, offering U.S. help for Iraq to move forward in forging a broad political consensus to resolve outstanding disagreements between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Government of Iraq, said the White House.

During the meeting, the Kurdish president Barzani stressed the importance for strategic long term US engagement with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. He stated that through the deepening and broadening of the United States’ relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, there exists an opportunity to make significant progress on the many challenges facing the country.

As outstanding issues remain unresolved in Iraq, President Barzani affirmed the necessity for Iraq’s constitution to be the arbiter of internal disputes, and informed President Obama that lasting stability in Iraq can be attained if and when Iraqis abide by, and implement, all the articles of the country’s constitution.

Iraq is to hold parliamentary elections on March 7. The Kurds lamented the distribution of parliament seats, saying they were under-represented.

U.S. officials have voiced concern about the lingering feuds between Iraq's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities that would cause obstacles to political progress in the war-torn country.

On January 27, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will host the Kurdish president Barzani, in a discussion about Iraq’s elections (Photo: krg.org)

© Xinhua/Rudaw