Sen. Jason Atkinson returns from Iraq

Atkinson returns from Iraq
Meeting with Prime Minister yields opportunity for Oregon

Central Point, Oregon — Senator Jason Atkinson has returned from a successful trip to Kurdistan, northern Iraq, where he and Oregon business leaders met with officials about opportunities and partnerships between the two regions. Atkinson created the first Leader-to-Leader exchange, a program to build long-term relationships between US political and business leaders in both countries.

“It took three years of planning, but the trip was a tremendous success,” noted Atkinson. “My entire delegation enjoyed the experience and I am proud that now Oregon’s agricultural expertise will play a major role in rebuilding Kurdistan.”

Atkinson led the delegation to Iraq in conjunction with Tim Bernasek, prominent agricultural attorney from Portland. Oregonians Rick Miller, CEO of Avermere Health Services, and Jeff Kohnstamm, President of Timberline Lodge and an Oregon Tourism Commissioner, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning and Former Maryland Lt. Governor and much talked about running mate for Sen. John McCain, Michael Steele joined Atkinson.

The high point of the trip was the private meeting with Prime Minister Nechervan Barzani. “The PM was very pleased with the success of the Leader-to-Leader program,” Atkinson stated. “We had a very candid conversation about Oregon, difficulties at the US State Department, and his concerns about a changing US foreign policy.”

Atkinson is planning another trip later this year with a focus on agriculture.

Senator Jason Atkinson has served in the Oregon Legislature since 1999, was a candidate for Governor in 2006, and is the author of What We All Wish Politicians Understood.

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— Press release from Sen. Jason Atkinson