Left to right: Chief of Staff Dr. Fuad Hussein, Security Council Chancellor Masrour Barzani, and Senator John McCain met in Washington in May. Photo: Masrour Barzani/Twitter
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The office of the chancellor of the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council issued a statement responding to remarks made by former Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faili after he said that the US administration had told Masrour Barzani they are against a referendum and independence in the Kurdistan Region.
“He is not the US administration’s spokesperson to speak on their behalf,” the Security Council’s Office stated.
Masrour Barzani is chancellor of the Security Council.
“We want to explain this to the public that the US support and empathy with the desires of our nation were noticeable in all the meetings which the chancellor of the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council has had with US high officials. They had also both reiterated that the questions and problems should be resolved through peace and mutual understanding,” the statement added.
Barzani visited the United States in May. Among his meetings, he met with several White House officials, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner, and Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert. They discussed the “anti-ISIL campaign & and the day after,” Barzani tweeted.
He also discussed “regional developments” and reviewed “long-term American support to Peshmerga forces” with Republican Senator John McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In a meeting with special presidential envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition Brett McGurk, Barzani also discussed the ongoing war against ISIS.
Barzani was accompanied by Chief of Staff to the President Dr. Fuad Hussein, and the Kurdstian Regional Government’s representative to the US Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman.
"The former Iraqi ambassador was neither present in the meetings nor was he aware of the content of those meetings. And he is not the US administration’s spokesperson to speak on their behalf. The US administration has its own channels to announce the country’s official stance. This kind of statement has not been issued by the US administration yet,” the Security Council’s statement detailed.
“The question of referendum and independence is related to the wants of our nation and it is the citizens of Kurdistan who have the final say on this question,” the statement explained.
Faili served as ambassador to the US from 2013 to 2016.