Today, the Kurdistan Region achieved a milestone victory with the passage of U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 873, calling for the establishment of a U.S. consulate in the Kurdistan Region. The Kurdistan Regional Government worked tirelessly over the past eight months to push this resolution, which will broaden and deepen our already strong relationship with America.
The resolution affirms continued U.S. commitment to the stability, prosperity and democracy of the Region, even after U.S. troops redeploy under the Status of Forces Agreement—an agreement that originally raised concern over future U.S. support.
While seventeen countries are represented in Erbil, currently consular and citizen services are only provided by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, more than 200 miles away from the safe and secure Kurdistan Region. U.S. citizens and visitors to the Region must travel this distance to receive such services. Establishing a consulate in Erbil, the Kurdistan Region’s capital, will increase travel to the Region and encourage more business investment and government and NGO missions to the area.
The House Resolution accomplishes several goals including: assisting to safeguard Iraqi territory from external aggression and supporting diplomatic initiatives to prevent outside interference in Iraq’s affairs; fostering continued dialogue between the United States and the KRG; and contributing to continued diplomatic initiatives between the KRG and Turkey.
I would like to thank the co-authors of the resolution and members of the Kurdish-American Congressional Caucus who supported this resolution. I also want to thank members of the Kurdistani-American community who worked tirelessly to exercise their rights as American citizens to meet with and encourage members of Congress to support the resolution. Through their efforts to meet with their respective members, we as Kurds have achieved this monumental goal.