Support for 'resilient KRG'

US, KRG, reaffirm partnership amid regional tensions

NEWSROOM – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani at the State Department in a significant meeting that underscored the enduring partnership between the United States and the KRG.

This engagement comes at a pivotal moment as the U.S. faces increasing calls from Shia forces in Iraq for the expulsion of American troops, particularly in light of recent U.S. retaliatory actions against Iran-backed Iraqi militias.

The meeting highlighted the shared values, interests, and a history of mutual sacrifice that have cemented the relationship between the United States and the KRG.

Secretary Blinken emphasized the critical role of the KRG within the United States’ comprehensive strategy towards Iraq, stating, “Our support for a resilient KRG is integral to our 360-degree approach to Iraq.”

He acknowledged the unique and valued partnership with the KRG, which has been essential for stability in the region and for safeguarding American investments.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his gratitude towards the U.S. for its steadfast support and highlighted the importance of the alliance with America. “We are great friends and partners, and we are very proud to say that we are American allies,” said Barzani.

He also touched upon the challenges faced in the region, indicating a forward-looking approach to the discussions on bilateral relations and regional developments.

The meeting seeks to reaffirm a mutual commitment to stability and prosperity in the region, amidst increasing regional tensions and the strategic importance to the Kurdistan Region of continued U.S. presence in Iraq. Both leaders say they are committed to continuing their dialogue on enhancing bilateral relations and jointly addressing the challenges that lie ahead, reinforcing their dedication to facing regional complexities together.

Full transcript from the pre-meeting remarks

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, everyone.  It is a great pleasure to have the prime minister here.  We saw each other a few weeks ago, but I’m so glad to have you here today in Washington at the State Department as well as the entire team. 

We have – the United States has a long partnership with the KRG, with the Kurdistan Regional Government.  And it’s a partnership that is cemented first and foremost in shared values, shared interests, and also a shared history of sacrifice together and something that we take very seriously, and something that for me personally over many, many years in working in this area and on these issues has meant – meant a great deal.  Our support for a resilient KRG is integral to our 360-degree approach to Iraq.  And so the opportunity today to reaffirm this support, reaffirm this partnership and the work that we’re doing together I think is important and timely.

In many ways, this is a relationship for us that is unique in the region, and, again, one that we value greatly.  The KRG has also been a critical partner for stability in the region and the health of the private sector, including American investments, and that too is important.  So we’ve had many periods together where we’ve been side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder under the most challenging circumstances.  This period has its share of challenges as well.  But being able to face them together is very important.

Finally, I would just say that also important to us, because I think it’s important to the success of our friends and partners, is unity among Kurds and making sure that everyone, because the interests are shared, is working together to the greatest extent possible.  I look forward to discussing that as well.

In any event, Prime Minister, welcome.  Very good to have you today.

PRIME MINISTER BARZANI:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  Thank you for inviting me.  It’s great to be back here in Washington and especially here to see you.  Of course, we are great friends and partners, and we are very proud to say that we are American allies.  We have been through some very difficult times.  And we are very thankful and we express our gratitude for the support that the U.S. has always given to our people.  And now we are having some new challenges in the region.  I’m looking forward to our discussions to talk about the developments in the region in Iraq and especially about our bilateral relations with the United States.



SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks, everyone

Condemnation for as long as no American is hurt

Condemnation for as long as no American is hurt