US re­move PUK, KDP from ter­ror­ist list

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The two Kur­dish par­ties in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK) led by Jalal Tal­a­bani and the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Union (KDP) led by Mas­soud Barzani, have been re­moved from the United States ter­ror­ist list, me­dia re­ported on Satur­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a se­nior US of­fi­cial, US Congress has passed a law that will pave the way for Wash­ing­ton to re­move the par­ties from the ter­ror­ist list.

Brett McGurk, the U.S. Deputy As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary of State for Iraq and Syria, also con­firmed that the two Kur­dish par­ties have been re­moved from the list via his twit­ter ac­count.

"Congress has passed the NDAA [The Na­tional De­fense Au­tho­riza­tion Act] w/a pro­vi­sion re­mov­ing PUK & KDP from the list of des­ig­nated or­ga­ni­za­tions un­der U.S. im­mi­gra­tion laws", read the tweet that McGurk shared on Satur­day.

"This un­fair des­ig­na­tion com­pli­cated visa pro­cess­ing for many Kurds wish­ing to visit the US. We are pleased to see it fixed", added the se­nior US of­fi­cial.

In Fe­bru­ary the pres­i­dent of Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, Mas­soud Barzani, re­fused to meet the US pres­i­dent, Barack Obama, un­til the US re­moved the Kur­dis­tan re­gion's two main po­lit­i­cal par­ties from its ter­ror­ist black­list.

The KDP and PUK have been on the US black­list since 2001, un­der the ex­ist­ing Pa­triot Act as a Tier III ter­ror­ist group. Mem­bers of the KDP and the PUK were clas­si­fied as ter­ror­ists and thus pro­hib­ited from ob­tain­ing visas to en­ter the United States.

In April, two prom­i­nent U.S. Se­na­tors, Robert Me­nen­dez and John McCain, in­tro­duced a bill to re­move the Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal par­ties from the US ter­ror list.

The bill is ex­pected to be ap­proved by the US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion had also pre­vi­ously sup­ported the bill.

The Kur­dish of­fi­cials ex­pressed their happy feel­ings over the re­moval decision. Fuad Hus­sein, chief of staff to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion pres­i­dency con­firmed that the two par­ties have been re­moved from US ter­ror­ist list.

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