Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Friday called on US President Joe Biden to keep the Kurdish people in mind during his visit to the Middle East, urging Washington and Gulf states to support Erbil amid ongoing disputes with Baghdad.
Barzani tweeted a statement welcoming Biden’s visit to the region and expressing his hope that “the sacrifices the Kurdish people have made in fighting terrorism and in defeating ISIS [Islamic State] on the battlefield are not forgotten.”
He also called for the “constitutional rights of Kurdistan in federal Iraq” and the Region’s energy resources to be “recognized and protected” during discussions Biden will participate in as part of his trip.
Iraq’s Federal Court in February found the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas law to be “unconstitutional,” therefore striking down the legal basis for the independence of the Region’s oil and gas sector. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) responded to the decision, saying that the court’s ruling is not only “unconstitutional” but also “unjust.”
Barzani emphasized the importance of the “stability and security” of both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and the need for disputes to be settled in order to achieve this. He called on the US and the Gulf states to convey these messages and to support the Kurdistan Region during the upcoming summit in Saudi Arabia in which Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi will be participating.
The statement added that disputes will “inevitably emerge” but that they should not be resolved “through the politicization of state institutions to undermine the most prosperous and stable part of the country,” referring to the Kurdistan Region.
The Region’s oil and gas industry has come under attack in recent months. The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Dana Gas temporarily suspended work in Khor Mor gas field at the end of last month after being subjected to three rocket attacks in less than a week.