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Policy Forum

Iraq in Crisis: The View from Kurdistan

Safeen Dizayee

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November 20, 2019


The Iraqi Kurdistan government's top diplomat shares the Kurdish view of the growing unrest sweeping Iraq.

Despite recovering substantially from the ravages of the war against the Islamic State, Iraq now faces an imposing array of security, political, and humanitarian challenges, including the continued displacement of hundreds of thousands of citizens, a low-level kidnapping and murder campaign by ISIS remnants, a wave of refugees arriving in Kurdistan following fresh violence in Syria, and major demonstrations to the south in protest of corruption and stalled reforms. Will the latest unrest upend the fragile political status quo that has held the country together, or is it an opportunity to institute better governance? How might it affect the Kurdistan Regional Government's relations with Baghdad and the United States? To discuss these issues, The Washington Institute hosted a Policy Forum with Safeen Dizayee.

Safeen Dizayee was named as head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations in July 2019. Prior to becoming Iraqi Kurdistan's top diplomat, he served as chief of staff to the prime minister, senior KRG spokesperson, and minister of education, among other posts.

The Policy Forum series is made possible through the generosity of the Florence and Robert Kaufman Family.