With the debate about the U.S. troop presence in Iraq seemingly out of the way, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Barham Salih urged the Vice President of the United States Joseph P. Biden to deploy the broad array of diplomatic and economic tools necessary to ensure that the stability and prosperity of the Kurdistan Region is preserved and built upon.
During a meeting at the White House, Prime Minister Salih and Vice President Biden discussed the impact of the forthcoming US military withdrawal from Iraq on the Kurdistan Region and on Iraq as a whole. In their discussion, Prime Minister Salih stressed the importance of increasing meaningful US engagement on all fronts – economic, cultural, political and security – “to create an enduring strategic relationship between the US and Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region.”
For his part, the Vice President reaffirmed the US commitment to a stable, federal and democratic Iraq and in an official statement released by the White House “praised the dynamism of Iraq’s Kurdish region and the historic friendship and partnership between the Kurdish and American people.”
Both sides stressed the importance of a strategic relationship between the US and Iraq and spoke optimistically about furthering the relationship as outlined in the strategic framework agreement signed between Iraq and the US in 2008.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by Iraq’s Ambassador to the United States Samir Sumaida’ie, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Minister of Planning Ali Sindi and the KRG Representative to the US Qubad Talabani, also discussed the importance of promoting increased US private sector involvement in the Kurdistan Region. Citing Kurdistan as a Region ripe for investment with a consistently growing economy, the Prime Minister assured the Vice President, “Kurds welcome American businesses to operate in Kurdistan; not just to benefit from the inviting market in Kurdistan, but to also be well positioned to branch out throughout the country as opportunities arise.”