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US Lawmakers Criticize Biden's Meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister, Urge Support for Kurdish Allies

Gulan Media March 29, 2024 News
US Lawmakers Criticize Biden's Meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister, Urge Support for Kurdish Allies

Several United States senators and congressmen have voiced their concerns over President Joe Biden's upcoming meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani, calling for a stronger response in support of Washington’s Kurdish allies. The bipartisan group of lawmakers penned a letter to President Biden, urging him to prioritize the needs of the Kurdish Region of Iraq during discussions with Prime Minister Sudani, scheduled for April 15 at the White House.

The letter, signed by four senators and four congressmen from the Republican Party, highlighted the absence of a meeting with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, whom they deemed a critical partner hosting a significant number of U.S. forces in the region. Prime Minister Barzani's recent visit to Washington in March underscored the importance of addressing outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad.

Criticism was also directed at the Biden administration's approach towards Iran, citing concerns over the Iraqi government's financial support to Iran-backed militias, which have targeted American interests multiple times. The lawmakers condemned what they viewed as appeasement of Iran, particularly in granting sanctions waivers to Baghdad for importing Iranian gas and electricity.

Moreover, the letter emphasized the detrimental impact of halted oil exports from the Kurdistan Region through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline, exacerbating economic challenges for the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and its inability to pay civil servants on time. The lawmakers urged President Biden to require the immediate reopening of the pipeline and the resumption of financing for Kurdistan Region salaries as preconditions for the meeting with Prime Minister Sudani.

In light of escalating tensions and security threats, including recent attacks on U.S. service members in Iraq attributed to pro-Iran militias, the lawmakers underscored the urgency of addressing these issues to safeguard American national security interests and strengthen relationships with regional allies.

The meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Sudani is expected to cover a range of topics, including the future role of the US-led global coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, amidst ongoing security challenges and strategic evaluations of coalition operations in the region.

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