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 20 May. 2010 House of Representatives approves resolution calling for US Consulate in Kurdistan Washington DC, US (KRG.org) - The US House of Representatives yesterday approved a resolution calling for the establishment of a US consulate in the Kurdistan Region. The resolution signals America’s continued support for the stability, prosperity, human rights and democracy of the Kurdistan Region. Four Congressmen spoke in favour of Resolution 873, which was passed with no opposition. The resolution’s sponsor Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said, “A strong relationship with the Kurdish people serves the ideals of peace, stability and democratic governance… the Kurdish part of the country has served as a model for democracy” since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mr Rohrabacher concluded that the establishment of a consulate in Erbil would “underscore the great friendship between the US and the Kurdish people.” He called it a moral and practical resolution. House Representatives Michael McMahon (Democrat-NY), Ted Poe (Republican-TX) and Lincoln Davis (D-TN) also spoke in favour of the resolution. Congressman Poe said that the Kurds’ determination to prevent the persecution they had suffered in the past underlies their desire to work with the US. He added that the Kurds have committed themselves to a future in a federal Iraq, with the aim of improving freedom, security, and human rights. Mr Qubad Talabani, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Representative to the US, said, “I would like to thank the co-authors of the resolution and members of the Kurdish-American Congressional Caucus who supported it. The establishment of a consulate will broaden and deepen our already strong relationship with America.” House Resolution 873 gives many reasons why a US consulate should be opened in Erbil. It states, “The Kurds of Iraq have been willing partners with the US in the democratic transition in Iraq since 2003 and the Kurdistan Region has served as a model of Iraq's democratization since Operation Iraqi Freedom… the establishment of a United States Consulate in the Kurdistan Region will demonstrate a US commitment to maintaining and building upon the success and stability of this prosperous and democratic Iraqi region”. The resolution also states that a consulate “will both be helpful in attracting greater US business and investment to the region and ensuring that the region continues to serve as a ‘gateway' to US business success in other parts of Iraq, as a number of US Government agencies have advocated.” Currently consular and citizen services are only provided by the US Embassy in Baghdad, more than 200 miles away from the safe and secure Kurdistan Region. American citizens and visitors to Kurdistan must travel this distance to receive such services. Establishing a consulate in the regional capital Erbil will increase travel to the Region and encourage more private investment and government and NGO missions to the area. Seventeen countries, including European nations, have diplomatic representation in Erbil, and this year the US Department of State altered its travel advisory for Iraq to recognise the safety and security of the Kurdistan Region. Soource: KRG.ORG
See also the full text of House of Representatives Resolution 873
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