Washington Kurdish Institute
The committee of the Independence Referendum for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) visited Brussels, Belgium, the capital city of the European Union to meet with top European officials. The representation is run by President Massoud Barzani and consists of individuals from across the religious spectrum containing a Christian and Yazidi representation. The political spectrum consists of Dr. Najmadin Karim member of Patriot Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and current Governor of Kirkuk Province, the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP) representative Hoshyar Zebari, and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) representative Mohammed Saaddadin.
The purpose of the delegation is to explain and advocate for the upcoming referendum for independence that is scheduled to be held on September 25th of this year. Similar to the referendum that was held in Scotland in 2014, there are logistical complexities that need to be handled diplomatically. The delegation will be able to assist with many of the expected difficulties. Among the meetings taken by the representation are with Belgian officials as well as the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament. Flemish officials cited support for the democratic nature of the referendum and offered to send observers, a move that is seen as an effort to legitimize whatever the result may be. This is the first stop on the trip of the delegation. Following Brussels, certain members of the representation will continue on to other countries including visits to the United States.