Political Transition in Iraqi Kurdistan Region

Press Statement
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 30, 2017


The United States commends the decision of Masoud Barzani not to seek an additional term as President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the vote of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament to distribute presidential authorities to other Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) institutions. President Barzani is a historic figure and courageous leader of his people, most recently in our common fight to destroy ISIS. This decision represents an act of statesmanship during a difficult period.

The United States now looks forward to engaging actively with the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani. A strong KRG within a ‎unified and federal Iraq is essential to its long-term stability and to the enduring defeat of ISIS. We call on all Kurdish parties to support the KRG as it works to resolve pending issues over the remainder of its term and prepare for elections in 2018.

We call on the Government of Iraq and the KRG under its new leadership to work urgently to resolve pending issues under the Iraqi constitution. We have been encouraged by the security dialogue that has taken place in recent days, and call for an end to all confrontations and clashes.

We also continue to support the strong leadership of Prime Minister Abadi as he works to ensure the total, and enduring defeat, of ISIS and a stable Iraq after ISIS. We welcome the recent decision from Prime Minister Abadi to begin a new dialogue with the KRG, under the Iraqi constitution, and avoid further confrontations.

We will continue to work with all parties as they address these issues for the benefit of all Iraqis. It is time for all parties to look to the future and focus on peaceful resolution of disputes under the Iraqi constitution.