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last month Barzani canceled his visit to Washington

KRG takes legal measures to remove KDP and PUK from terror list

Shwan Barzinji
BasNews, Erbil

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has signed a contract with an American law firm to remove both the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) from the USA terror list.
The Head of KRG’s Foreign Relations, Falah Mustafa, spoke to BasNews: “after 9/11, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was asked to register every organization that has fought against their government in the past 30 years. However, these groups are not all terrorists. The list is divided into three categories in which KDP and PUK are registered in the third terrorist category.”
“US high officials were surprised to see KDP and PUK on a terror list because they have often said that both parties have helped the USA to remove Saddam from power in 2003,” said Mustafa.
Mustafa also mentioned that US high officials have told them that US Congress attempted to amend the list and remove both KDP and PUK, but was unsuccessful.
In 2012, when Joe Biden came to Kurdistan, they decided to work on the issue, but no changes were implemented.

In regards to signing a contract with an American law firm, Mustafa acknowledged that after the US officials told the KRG that removing the parties from the list was in the hands of the US Administration and Congress, the KRG decided to take the legal way.
The KRG signed a contract with Patton Boggs law firm to legally deal with the case, yet US Congress has stopped the amendment.
Kurdish President Massoud Barzani canceled his visit to Washington on Jan. 27 because his party’s name remained on the terror list, despite the KRG being one of the U.S’ strongest allies in the region for over a decade.

“Before Barzani’s visit to Washington, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani sent a letter to Biden to work on the case and remove both Kurdish parties from the list before Barzani’s visit. They repeated that it was not in the hands of the USA Administration, but that they will do their best to resolve the issue,” added Mustafa.
Mustafa explained that USA officials have said that they had wanted Barzani to visit Washington so that the Kurdish leader could discuss the matter in senate.
Washington views their relation with the KRG as important and “they believe in the role of KRG and both KDP and PUK. We are still in contact with Washington to solve this issue and the KRG does not have a problem with them, but US Congress has to remove both parties in the terror list,” concluded Mustafa.
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