White House won’t support self-determined Kurdish gov’t

A unified Iraq 'in the best interest of Iraq's diverse population,' says White House spokesman.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The White House said on Tuesday that it still supports a "unified" Iraq even with the president of the Kurdish Regional Government set to ask for U.S. support for his government during his current visit to Washington.

"It continues to be the view of the United States that a unified Iraq that's governed in an inclusive way is clearly in the best interest of Iraq's diverse population," said White House spokesman, Josh Earnest.

Iraqi news agencies said self-determination of Iraqi Kurds will be one of the main topics to be discussed during Massoud Barzani's visit, citing his Chief of Staff Fuad Hussein.

The White House released a readout saying President Barack Obama met Barzani at the White House on Tuesday, along with Vice President Joe Biden.

Though Kurdish leaders were expected to raise the possibility of a "self-determined" Kurdish government during the meeting, the White House readout said fighting against Daesh was the main topic of discussion.

The leaders "discussed a range of issues, including the campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL and the status of ongoing political initiatives to address the needs of the Iraqi people and foster cooperation across all communities," the readout said.

Iraqi troops and Kurdish peshmerga forces are fighting against Daesh, supported by a U.S.-led coalition that has been conducting air strikes against the extremist group.

Obama reaffirmed Washington's support for the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the Kurdish people, he also “reaffirmed the United States’ enduring commitment under the Strategic Framework Agreement to a united, federal, and democratic Iraq, as defined in the Iraqi constitution," according to the readout.