Prime Minister Masrour Barzani statement ushering in the New Year

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani issued a statement today to express his best wishes on New Year’s Eve to the people of the Kurdistan Region, Peshmerga Forces, and the families of martyrs in particular.

In his statement, the Prime Minister said:

“The Kurdistan Region, like the rest of the world, endured a very difficult year facing unprecedented challenges. Together, we weathered the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent economic effects of a global pandemic. We were also burdened by the failure of federal authorities in Baghdad to send the Kurdistan Region its financial entitlements, as required by law. These factors inevitably sparked a deep financial crisis, impacting the lives of our fellow citizens in the Kurdistan Region. As we reflect on the past year, however, we also want to note our successes. We have now reached an agreement with the Iraqi Government on the draft 2021 budget bill. It is our hope that this agreement will be honored as a key step to ensuring the prosperity and stability of the country in the new year. I call on all Iraqi political parties to prevent the rights and financial entitlements of the people of Kurdistan from being used as a tool to exert political pressure against our people, who have suffered tremendously this year from their rights having been violated. I reiterate the Kurdistan Region and its government’s commitment to defending its constitutional rights.

“The Kurdistani people remain committed to the national cause, and have paid the ultimate price to defend it. The constitutional status of the Kurdistan Region is the product of our enduring struggle, for which hundreds of thousands of Peshmerga fighters sacrificed their lives. It is all of our duty to protect our constitutional status; For the dignity and pride of the people of Kurdistan depend on the strength of our national identity and respect of our constitutional rights.

“I also call on all political parties and people of Kurdistan to set aside their differences and disputes to protect the Kurdistan Region’s federal status, its territory, and its achievements. I call on all of you to unite in confronting threats and protecting our constitutional rights. I trust that, with a united and undivided front, we shall overcome all crises and challenges ahead of us.

“On this occasion, I also want to reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the government’s reform agenda and improving the living conditions of the people of the Kurdistan Region. I reiterate our commitment to uphold the rule of law and social justice, and to protect the peace and stability of our great nation.

“We look to the future with optimism, and hope the Kurdistan Region enters a new phase of development and progress in the new year, rewarding all of you for your sacrifices this past year. I wish everyone a happy new year and may Kurdistan remain safe and strong.”


President Nechirvan Barzani receives U.S. delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, December 9, 2020

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Mr. David Schenker, and his accompanying delegation including US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq Affairs, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Mr. David Copley; the US Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Mathew Toller; and the US Consul-General in Erbil, Mr. Rob Waller.

Discussions covered political and security developments in Iraq, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the economic situation in the country. Topics included the resurgence of terrorism – notably ISIS, Erbil-Baghdad relations, Kurdistan Region and Iraq relations with the U.S. and neighboring countries, condition of displaced people, and the recent public demonstrations in the Region.

Mr. Schenker reaffirmed US commitment to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. He expressed US support for Erbil-Baghdad negotiations to resolve issues and effectively implement agreements. He also reaffirmed continued US support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in confronting terrorism including ISIS.

Also discussed were reform efforts and diversification of the economy. Closer attention to agriculture, manufacturing, foreign investment, and job creation was emphasized. The delegation indicated that observable progress on these topics would support the US private sector to invest in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.