***PRESS RELEASE***Rohrabacher Resolution to Establish U.S. Consulate in Kurdistan Passes House

May 19, 2010
Press Release

Washington, May 19, 2010 - Today, the House passed H.Res. 873, establishing a U.S. Consulate in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The resolution, authored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), has 27 bi-partisan co-sponsors and passed by voice vote.

The legislation calls for the establishment an American consulate in Kurdistan regional capitol of Erbil. Twenty other countries already have diplomatic and consulate representation Kurdish region. During remarks on the floor, Rep. Rohrabacher called the resolution “moral and practical.”

“A strong relationship with the Kurdish people serves the cause of peace, stability and democratic government in a region that needs a lot of bolstering when it comes to peace, stability and democratic government,” said Rohrabacher. “It is a strong relationship with the Kurds that will keep the radical Islamic forces in other parts of Iraq in check. It is this strong relationship with the Kurds that will offset the support going to radical elements in rest of Iraq and the region.

“The Kurds over the years have had a history of being an oppressed people. Thus they are natural allies of the United States, our country, who has a tradition of supporting oppressed peoples and struggling with them to promote democracy, opportunity and prosperity.”

The Kurdish part of Iraq has served as a model for Iraq’s democratization since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom and The Kurds have been willing partners with the U.S since that democratic transition began in 2003.

“This makes all the sense in the world,” Rohrabacher said. “It’s good for them. It’s good for us. It’s good for the people of Iraq.”

“If they can count on us, we can count on them,” said Rohrabacher.