On March 7, Iraqis will elect a new national parliament. This critical election could serve as a major step forward on Iraq’s difficult path toward stability and democracy. However, if Iraqis view the election as biased or corrupt, the country could slip back into sectarian fighting or even civil war. Among the election’s key issues is the relationship between Baghdad and the regional government in Kurdistan.
On January 27, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As leader of the Kurdistan Region, President Barzani stands at the center of many of Iraq’s most critical political struggles and is one of the key arbiters of Iraqi politics. President Barzani discussed the upcoming elections as well as the current state of Iraq, the relationship between the central government and Iraqi Kurdistan, and the future U.S. role in helping Iraq build a better, more stable and just country.
Saban Center Director Kenneth Pollack moderated the discussion. After the program, President Barzani took audience questions.