Sen. Atkinson to host Kurdistan representative on Oregon ag tour

From State Senator Jason Atkinson Office:

SALEM — Senator Jason A. Atkinson (R-Central Point) will introduce Kurdistan’s High Representative to the United States, Qubad Talabani, to key companies in Oregon industry on Thursday, November 20. The trip will include stops at the Oregon Food Science Center and the first Oregon to Kurdistan Agriculture Summit.

“Oregon and Kurdistan share several unique bonds,” said Atkinson. “Both regions have strong agricultural sectors that provide thousands of stable, family wage jobs, and both regions share a love for freedom. Together, Oregon and Kurdistan can help one another grow more prosperous and free.”

Who: Qubad Talabani, Kurdistan High Representative to the United States, and Senator Jason Atkinson
What: Press Availability
Where: Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue; 851 SW Sixth Ave. Suite 1500, Portland (Check in with reception on the 13th floor)
When: 3:30 pm, Thursday, November 20

Talabani is in Oregon to promote opportunities for businesses to invest and partner with Kurdistan. Kurdistan, the most safe, stable and secure region in Iraq, shares a similar climate and geography to much of Oregon and could benefit from the transfer of agriculture knowledge and technology.

Atkinson has been working with the Kurdistan region since 2005, when he helped established a sister state relationship with Oregon. Working for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Atkinson created and executed the first Leader-to-Leader Exchange program, building relationships between top US business and political leaders and their counterparts in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. His efforts have helped American leaders see Iraqi democracy in action and have opened up opportunities for Oregon and Kurdistan businesses to work together.

“After years of work, I am proud to see Oregon playing a role in reforestation, food processing, and hopefully by sending some of our best and brightest researchers from Oregon to help modernize Kurdistan agriculture and forestry,” said Atkinson.

Qubad Talabani is the son of Iraq’s President, Jalal Talabani. As Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to the United States, he works closely with the U.S. Government, the media and research institutions providing critical analysis and up-to-date information on Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

After Operation Iraqi Freedom (Spring 2003), he served a year as Senior Foreign Relations officer for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) (one of two leading Kurdish political parties in Iraq), operating mainly out of Baghdad and Suleimani. There, he worked closely with the U.S-led Coalition Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), and was PUK’s top liaison to the Coalition after it became the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and to US forces in Iraq. Mr. Talabani was also a key negotiator in drafting the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), Iraq’s first post-Saddam constitution. From 2001 until spring 2003, Mr. Talabani served as the Deputy Representative of the PUK in Washington D.C. In 2000-2001, he was a Special Assistant to the
then PUK Representative in Washington.