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Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (TX-10) sent a letter today to Secretary Blinken regarding ongoing disputes between the Government of Iraq (GOI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) across a range of issues that threaten Iraq’s stability and economic development. In the letter, McCaul urged the administration to press its counterparts in Iraq to resolve these longstanding issues in a manner that furthers the interests of the Iraqi people.

The United States has a longstanding commitment to supporting a stable, sovereign, and democratic Iraq free from malign foreign influence, at peace with its neighbors, and safe for its citizens. It is imperative that our diplomatic engagement at all levels further these goals and help position the country and its citizens to realize their full potential.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

 

The Honorable Antony Blinken
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Blinken,

I write to you with concern that ongoing disputes between the Government of Iraq (GOI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) across a range of issues are undermining Iraq’s stability and economic development. I urge the Administration to engage with counterparts in Baghdad and Erbil to identify a way forward on these issues for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

The GOI and the KRG are locked in a longstanding constitutional dispute over the disposition of Iraq’s natural resources. Since October 2021, Iraq’s stalled government formation process has compounded the effects of this dispute. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people suffer, lacking a government that represents their interests and unable to reap the full benefits of revenues from Iraq’s oil, gas, and other natural resources.

The United States has invested significantly in Iraq to help the Iraqi people defeat and recover from ISIS’ brutal caliphate. The United States has provided more than $12.7 billion in foreign assistance, security assistance, and humanitarian aid to Iraq since 2014, making the U.S. the largest single global contributor to Iraq’s recovery. One key aim of these extensive efforts is to encourage investment in Iraq, including through the nearly $300 million in loans extended by the U.S. Development Finance Corporation to energy firms operating in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). These investments of taxpayer dollars must be accompanied by a commensurate diplomatic push to urge Iraq’s leaders in Baghdad and Erbil to negotiate with each other and make the political decisions necessary to protect Iraq’s sovereignty and prosperity to benefit the Iraqi people.

In addition to these intra-Iraqi disputes, Iran continues to threaten Iraq, including through the recent spate of missile and rocket attacks carried out by Iran and Iran-backed militias in the KRI. The Administration must respond robustly to these blatant violations of Iraqi sovereignty, which threaten innocent lives and undermine Iraq’s stability and democracy. This must include supporting our Iraqi partners who seek to protect their country from Iran’s malign influence.

The United States has a longstanding commitment to supporting a stable, sovereign, and democratic Iraq free from malign foreign influence, at peace with its neighbors, and safe for its citizens. It is imperative that our diplomatic engagement at all levels further these goals and help position the country and its citizens to realize their full potential.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.