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Sen. McCain praises Barzani, describes Kurds ‘true friends’ of US

Sen. McCain praises Barzani, describes Kurds ‘true friends’ of US
US Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee praised Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani’s leadership and expressed support for the Kurds in their dialogue with Baghdad.

“President Barzani’s decision not to seek an additional term is befitting of a bold statesman whose career has been defined by devotion to his people,” McCain said in a statement.

The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, on Sunday announced in a national address that he would not seek an additional term of presidency.

After twelve years in his role, President Barzani will step down on the date the presidential elections were meant to be held - November 1 - despite the eight-month extension which was offered.

McCain hoped that the political transition would lead to the resolution of tensions and disputes between Erbil and Baghdad and pave the way for elections in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

“I look forward to supporting Kurdish leaders as they engage in dialogue with Baghdad, secure Kurdistan from aggression sponsored by its neighbors, and provide vital support countering forces that seek to destabilize the region,” he added.

“The Kurdish people are true friends of the United States and deserve our support through these challenging times.”

Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated in the past months, notably after the Sep. 25 referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region, which Baghdad labeled ‘unconstitutional’ and its subsequent collective punishment of the people in the region through the use of sanctions and military force.