Prime Minister Barzani and German Ambassador discuss post-referendum developments

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received German Ambassador to Iraq Cyril Nann and his accompanying delegation.

In the meeting both sides shed light on the latest political, humanitarian and post-referendum developments and agreed that tension and aggressive statements will not help resolve the issues and that dialogue and negotiations are the best way to address issues between Erbil and Baghdad. They also discussed Erbil- Berlin relations and best ways to further promote them.

Mr. Barzani thanked the German people and government for their humanitarian and military support to the Kurdistan Region. He also stated the reasons that pushed the Kurdistan Region to hold the independence referendum last month and emphasized that experiences with Baghdad proved that pre-referendum relationship with Baghdad was not functioning and that a new kind of relationship should be adopted.

Prime Minister Barzani reiterated KRG’s readiness to hold serious and unconditional dialogue with Baghdad and pointed out to the positive role the international community can play in the process.

Ambassador Nann said that Germany is following the developments in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq with interest, stressing that his country is ready to help and support the dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad. He also praised the role of the Kurdistan Peshmerga Forces in the fight against terror and commended the KRG and the people of Kurdistan for sheltering and helping a large number of internally displaced persons and refugees.

President Barzani Meets with E.U. Ambassador to Iraq

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received a European Union delegation headed by Mr. Ramon Blecua, the E.U. ambassador to Iraq. During the meeting, President Barzani and ambassador Blecua discussed several issues including the relations between Baghdad and Erbil and the Kurdistan Independence Referendum.

President Barzani warmly welcomed the delegation and added that the Kurdistan Independence Referendum of last month was an expression of the will of the people of the Kurdistan Region, adding that the Kurdistan Region is fully aware that the referendum ought to be followed by negotiations with Baghdad. President Barzani also stated that he believes that through dialogue and negotiations with Baghdad, the two sides can reach conclusions for all of the outstanding issues between the two sides.

Ambassador Blecua agreed with President Barzani that through dialogue and negotiations, the two sides can resolve all of their issues. The ambassador also noted the need to be more united as we collectively face the terrorists of the Islamic State.

Prime Minister Barzani meets with top UN envoy to Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met with UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Iraq, Jan Kubis, and his accompanying delegation.

In the meeting, both sides discussed post-referendum developments, reactions and the sanctions that the Baghdad authorities imposed on the Kurdistan Region, that included banning international flights to and from both Erbil and Slemani International Airports.

Prime Minister Barzani reiterated his government’s position which is resolving all the issues with Baghdad through dialogue and negotiations, pointing out to the important role the United Nations can play in this process. He emphasized that the Kurdistan Region is with de-escalating the tension with Baghdad and is against any step that may further exacerbates the situation.

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister emphasized that the referendum did not constitute a threat against any country, because the Kurdistan Region has always been and will stay a factor of peace and stability in the region. He also stressed that the Kurdistan Region will stay committed to fight the terrorists of ISIS and supporting the IDPs and Refugees that the Kurdistan Region is hosting. He boasted that the protection of all ethnic and religious Components of the Kurdistan Region has always been and will stay part of the culture and policy of the KRG.


Prime Minister Barzani and U.S. Ambassador stress the need for dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met with the United States Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman, and U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Ken Gross.

In the meeting, post-referendum developments in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the wider region were discussed.

Both sides agreed on the need to calm the situation and engage in dialogue to address current contentions between Erbil and Baghdad.

Jalal Talabani

Former iraqi president Jalal Talabani dies

The beloved Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani passed away on Tuesday in a hospital in Germany. Talabani was appointed president of Irak in 2005 by the Transitional National Assembly, he was the country’s first non-Arab president, and was instrumental in creating the current Iraqi constitution.

Talabani was the founder and Secretary General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the main Kurdish Iraqi political parties. Talabani, who was about to turn 84, he resigned as head of state in 2014 due to health conditions. Many observers attributed the deterioration of relations between Baghdad’s central government and the regional government of Erbil to his absence. In a curious twist of history, the veteran of the Kurdish cause was also the man who helped keep Iraq together.

A man with a great sense of humor, Talabani stood out from the outset for his diplomatic skills, aided by the fact that besides Kurshish he spoke fluent Arabic, Persian and English.

We extend our most sincere condolences to the widow, Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, his two sons, Bafel and Qubad, and all those who loved Mam Jalal.


President Barzani Receives a Letter from Secretary Fallon on the Referendum

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received a letter from the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defense, Mr. Michael Fallon regarding the Kurdistan Independence Referendum which was held on September 25, 2017. Secretary Fallon began the letter by thanking the President for his warm welcome during his visit to the Kurdistan Region on September 18. The Secretary also made reference to the importance of the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces in the collective effort to rid the region of the terrorists of the Islamic State.

Secretary Fallon, in his letter, states “now that the referendum has taken place, I would urge you to engage constructively with Baghdad and your other neighbors and strive for a mutually agreeable solution in a measured and calm manner.”

Furthermore, the Secretary encourages President Barzani to continue with the excellent coordination between the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces with the operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State.

KHERC: Yes wins by 92.73 percent at Kurdistan independence referendum

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – The Kurdistan Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission, yesterday announced the results of the Kurdistan independence referendum.

In a press conference, Hndren Muhammad, the head of the Commission, announced an overwhelming victory of Yes in the referendum and provided the following preliminary figures:

Eligible voters: 4,581,255.

Turnout: 3,305,925 voted in the referendum, which makes a turnout of 72.16 percent.

Yes votes: 2,861,471 people voted Yes, which represent 92.73 percent of the voters.

No votes: 224,468 people voted No, which represent 7.27 percent of the voters.

Votes cancelled: 170,611.
Invalid votes: 40,011.
Scratch votes: 9,368.

The citizens of Kurdistan Region and Kurdistan areas outside the Kurdistan Regional Government’s authority voted in the independence referendum on Monday, 25 September. Kurdistanis living abroad voted three days earlier.

Following the approval by the Court of Cassation, the above figures will become final results.

Embajador Holandés

Prime Minister Barzani meets Netherlands Ambassador

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Matthijs Wolters, newly appointed Ambassador of The Netherlands to Iraq, with his delegation.

Ambassador Wolters commended the Kurdistan military forces, the Peshmerga, for their role in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, ISIS. He also praised the government and people of the Kurdistan Region for having accommodated and provided services to a large number of displaced people.

Ambassador Wolters expressed his country’s readiness to offer assistance to the Kurdistan Region in various fields.

The referendum on Kurdistan independence to be held on 25 September was also discussed. Prime Minister Barzani briefed the Dutch Ambassador about the reasons that led the Kurdistan political leadership to hold the referendum that included Baghdad’s failure to honour its constitutional obligations towards the Kurdistan Region.

He stated the referendum is a step toward securing the legitimate rights of the people of Kurdistan. He stressed the need for serious and friendly dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad, a junction point where the international community could play a positive role.

Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed coordination and cooperation will continue among the Peshmerga, the Iraqi army, and the international coalition in the fight to eliminate ISIS and the terrorist threat.

President Barzani Receives France’s Ambassador to Iraq

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received a French diplomatic delegation headed by ambassador Bruno Aubert, the ambassador of France to Iraq. During the meeting, President Barzani and ambassador Aubert spoke of a number of issues including the excellent bilateral relations between France and Kurdistan as well as the Kurdistan Independence Referendum.

President Barzani made reference to the importance of the relations between France and Kurdistan and how France has historically been supportive of the cause of the people of Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Region, President Barzani stated will eternally keep in its memory the assistance that has been provided historically by France.

Ambassador Aubert also said that the relations between France and Kurdistan are of great meaning to the people and government of France. He also added that the government of France is not, in any way against the right of the people of Kurdistan to cast their votes in the referendum for independence, however, he added that the government of France objects to the timing of the referendum.

President Barzani stated that the decision is no longer in the hands of any political leader, rather, it’s in the hands of the people of the Kurdistan Region whose rallies in the past months have clearly demonstrated their passion for an independent Kurdistan. The President added that the referendum has already started in the diaspora as hundreds of thousands of Kurds across the globe have already begun casting, or will start to cast their votes. On September 25, the President said, the people of Kurdistan will be engaged in a peaceful and democratic exercise where they will decide whether they want to remain part of Iraq or separate. The President also added that the referendum will not have any negative impact on the international effort against the terrorists of the Islamic State.


KRG welcomes decision to establish team to investigate ISIS crimes

Today the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to establish a team to assist Iraq in investigating ISIS crimes and holding the terrorist group accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

A Special Adviser will be appointed by the Secretary-General to head an investigation team of international and Iraqi experts that will initially be given a two-year mandate.

The Kurdistan Regional Government welcomes this important step towards justice for the victims of the heinous crimes committed by ISIS against all people, especially the Yezidis and Christians.
The KRG was the first government to label ISIS crimes as genocide and has been working towards achieving justice and accountability since 2014. We have asked the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and individual governments including that of Iraq to start the process of an international investigation and tribunal or court.

We are pleased and relieved that the government of Iraq finally invited the UN to investigate ISIS’ crimes in Iraq and we welcome the role of the UK and Belgium in bringing the resolution to a successful conclusion today.

Despite years of public lobbying and private efforts to make this happen, the KRG was excluded from the meeting today. Regrettably, while the KRG delegation is in New York and at the UN headquarters, Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir and Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman were not accorded the appropriate badges to enable them to attend the meeting.