US senators back fair Kurdistan elections amid timing uncertainty

The New Region

May. 04, 2024 • 2 min read
Image of US senators back fair Kurdistan elections amid timing uncertainty

US Senators visited the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, affirming support for fair elections and dialogue between the KRG and the Iraqi government.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region of Iraq - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani welcomed a U.S. delegation led by Senators Ted Budd and Joni Ernst. They discussed bilateral ties, regional stability, and support for upcoming parliamentary elections and ensuring fairness for all.

They discussed strengthening bilateral relations, developments in Iraq, and the need to protect the Kurdistan Region’s constitutional and financial entitlements.

The US delegation reaffirmed their “Support for the stability and security of the Kurdistan Region” and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani thanked the United States' continued support, particularly for the Peshmerga.

Barzani and the U.S. delegation agreed on the importance of resolving issues between the KRG and the Iraqi federal government through dialogue, based on constitutional agreements, and respecting the Kurdistan Region as a federal and constitutional entity.

They also touched on the Kurdistan Region's parliamentary elections, emphasizing their “Support for free, transparent, and fair elections involving all groups and ensuring the protection of all components' rights.”

On March 1, PM Barzani was in an official visit to the U.S. where he met a set of officials, and discussed support for the security and stability of the Kurdistan Region. Barzani stressed that the Kurdistan Region will remain a beacon of peace, stability, and a place for peaceful coexistence for persecuted groups and peoples.

PM Barzani met with the UK Ambassador to Iraq on Tuesday, where they discussed the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region.

They both agreed on the need to resolve issues that could impede fair elections and inclusion of all parties, and support a transparent, fair, and legitimate election process under international observation, protecting the rights of all components within the Kurdistan Region.

A source from the Iraqi government earlier on Wednesday told The New Region that the elections are now anticipated to occur between September and October of this year.

However, on a phone call with The New Region on Wednesday, IHEC spokesperson Jumana al-Ghalayi said that preparations to hold the elections on time are ongoing.

The U.S. and UK emphasized the importance of conducting fair and inclusive elections in the Kurdistan Region, ensuring the participation of all Iraqi components. While they refrained from explicitly mentioning the scheduled timing of the elections in June, they acknowledged the concerns raised by the KDP, hence avoiding specific references to the timeframe.

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