President of Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani. Rudaw photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani will discuss Kurdish independence among other regional and security issues with US officials in an upcoming trip to the US, according to statements by Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff to the presidency of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Barzani is expected to meet with US President Barack Obama and top American officials next week to discuss the latest security developments in the Kurdistan Region, the role of Peshmerga forces in the impending military campaign against the so-called Islamic State in Mosul and the issue of Kurdish independence, Hussein told Rudaw Wednesday.
“The issue is not something new. The president has previously sent Barack Obama a letter, which was focused on regional security issues as well as the issue of Kurdish independence,” Hussein told Rudaw. “Surely he will discuss Kurdish independence during his official visit to the United States.”
Barzani reportedly argued the case for Kurdish independence with Kurdish political parties in their last local meeting.
This will be Barzani’s fourth visit to the United States. In his previous visits he called on the US to remove the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)—both major Iraqi Kurdish political parties—from the United States’ terror list.