Former President of Kurdistan and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has met with the United States special presidential envoy Brett McGurk to discuss current events. McGurk congratulated the KDP on their recent success in the Iraqi parliamentary elections, in which the KDP won overall in both the cities of Duhok and Erbil. They collectively agreed upon the importance of Kurdistan’s continued participation of the formation and organization of the future Iraqi central government. McGurk is an envoy for the anti-Islamic State coalition but as ISIS’s presence in Iraq fades, he has become increasingly involved with diplomatic relations in the region.
Masoud Barzani’s KDP office released a statement that read,
In the meeting, the US special presidential envoy congratulated President [sic] Barzani on the holding of the Iraqi parliamentary elections and the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s victory. Besides pointing out the important and historical role of President Barzani in Kurdistan, Iraq, and the region, he also announced that his country’s policy is for the Kurdistan Region to be influential and powerful in Iraq’s equations. It was emphasized that without the active and true participation of the Kurdistan Region, the efforts to form a government and for stability to be established won’t succeed.”
McGurk hopes that the U.S. and Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to maintain a strong working relationship in the years to come. His trip to consult with Kurdish representatives takes place at time when rumors of Iranian influence over Kurdistan are rampant, specifically the influence of general Qassem Soleimani a notorious figured within the Iranian regime. Many Kurds consider McGurk negligently responsible for installing United States policy in Kurdistan while orchestrating the failed independence referendum. He was absent from the region following the referendum vote for some time. It was then that Iraqi supported Hasdt al-Shaabi forces invaded Kirkuk and Kurdistan’s international airports were shut down by the central government. This series of events and silence from the United States has led to an overwhelming consensus by Kurdish citizens that the U.S. betrayed them or sold them out in favor of their Iraqi allies.