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Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s speech marking Cabinet’s first 100 days in office

We have made a strong start in a short time – but there is much more to be done. People are still unemployed and government still isn’t as efficient as it needs to be to realize our vision.

Our goal is to build a strong Kurdistan. Secure, stable, prosperous. At peace with its neighbors. A reliable ally within the international community.

My ambition is for us to realize that goal – that dream – as a people. And to realize it together.

In recent years our people have suffered – you have proven your courage and you have proven your willingness to endure hardship in the pursuit of a just cause.

You deserve a government that works together – and we are working across parties and ministries to respond to your needs.

You deserve a government that serves you – and that is what we are doing.

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President Barzani Receives Leaders of the Kurdish National Council in Syria

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, 2 December 2019

The President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani met with the leader of the Kurdish National Council in Syria, Saud Mala, and his accompanying delegation.

President Barzani stressed on the importance of unity and joint efforts among the parties and components of Syria. He also reiterated his willingness to offer support towards achieving stability and a peaceful resolution regarding the ongoing issues in the region.

During the meeting, the latest developments in Syria were discussed, especially the effects of the presence of regional and international forces in the region. Both sides agreed on the need for cohesion and acceptance of each other in Syria, stressing on efforts aimed at resolving the security and political issues and establishing peace and stability.

Both leaders voiced their concerns regarding the attempts of demographic change in the region and the behavior of extreme militants from the Syrian opposition.

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Prime Minister Masrour Barzani meets with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Ankara, Turkey (GOV.KRD) – In his first official visit since taking office in July, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Throughout the meeting, Prime Minister Barzani emphasised that the Kurdistan Region remains a force for peace and stability in the region and emphasised that the Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to promote tolerance and constructive dialogue with its neighbours.

Prime Minister Barzani and President Erdogan discussed the strong relationship between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region and their shared commitment in hosting millions of refugees, who are still hoping to return home to a brighter future.

Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed the Kurdistan Region’s commitment to security and stressed that efforts were being made to ensure that the Kurdistan Region is not used to stage attacks or threaten the livelihoods of civilians.

During his visit, Prime Minister Barzani also met with Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to discuss how they can further expand economic opportunities between Erbil and Ankara. Strengthening bilateral relations and trade with Turkey continues to be a priority of the new KRG.

Prime Minister Barzani welcomed the fruitful discussions in Ankara, which said would promote peace and stability in the region. Prime Minister Barzani highlighted that the discussions in Turkey, as well as the ongoing and constructive dialogue with federal government of Iraq, are an example of the KRG’s commitment to peace and stability, to the benefit of all Kurdistani peoples.

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President Barzani receives US Vice President Mike Pence

His Excellency Mike Pence, U.S. Vice President stated his country’s appreciation for the IKR’s significant role in the fight against ISIS, and praised the IKR for the coexistence, religious and ethnic minorities protection and sheltering refugees and IDPs. He conveyed his and U.S. administration’s gratitude for the Peshmerga and the families of the fallen Peshmargas who lost their lives fighting against terror.

Today, November 23, 2019 His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani, the President of Kurdistan Region, along with Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, Vice President Mustafa Qadir, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and Kurdistan Region Presidency’s Chief of Staff Fawzi Hariri, received Vice President Pence.

In the meeting, Vice President Pence reassured America’s commitment for the support of the IKR as a U.S. ally within Iraq. He also welcomed the new developments between Erbil and Baghdad and showed his country’s support for negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad to solve outstanding issues.

President Nechirvan Barzani expressed IKR’s willingness to further develop relations with the U.S., and thanked America’s support for Iraq and Kurdistan in the fight against ISIS. He reiterated that without America’s help, defeating ISIS would not have been possible. He also considered Vice President’s visit as a sign of support to Iraq and Kurdistan Region.

Regional developments and issues of mutual interest were also discussed in the meeting.

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Message of the President of the Kurdistan Region on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and reaffirm our political will for ongoing support and work for the establishment of social justice and gender equality in the Kurdistan Region.

Since 2007, the Kurdistan Region has been actively involved in the 16-days campaign, which has brought together diverse government and non-governmental bodies to intensify their actions towards combatting violence against women. Despite many challenges, especially after the emergence of ISIS and their attack on the Nineveh plain which led to the genocide of the Yezidis with a serious humanitarian crisis, KR has proactively managed the situation.

There is no doubt that conflict and war trouble our social order, hinder the implementation of reforms and policies, and engender multiple forms of violence with women being the main victims. This is why, today, we reiterate our support and cooperation with government, civil society groups, faith leaders, UN agencies and national as well as international organizations to combat all forms of gender-based violence in the Kurdistan Region.

At the Presidential Office, we have prepared a roadmap in the form of a Strategic Vision for the empowerment of women, development of their social, economic and political status along with protection of their rights. To achieve our objectives within the strategic Vision, we aim to provide support and cooperate with executive bodies and all relevant institutions and organizations.

As the Kurdistan Regional Government launches its 16-days campaign today, we would like to call on all citizens, civil servants and civil society groups to participate in these activities to eliminate of all forms of gender-related violence in the Kurdistan Region.

I wish you a successful campaign.

Nechirvan Barzani
President of Kurdistan Region of Iraq
25 November 2019

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White House hosts Minister Dizayee for meeting on KRG-US partnership

Minister Safeen Dizayee and Representative to the US Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman were hosted at the White House today for a meeting with Rob Greenway, the Special Assistant to President Donald Trump and Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa Affairs, as well as staff of the National Security Council.

In a productive meeting, the two sides discussed practical steps to closer cooperation and partnership. Minister Dizayee thanked the White House and the American people for their continued support to the Kurdistan Region in general and the Peshmerga in particular.

Earlier in the day, Minister Dizayee spoke to a crowd gathered at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. During the wide-ranging discussion with scholar Dr. Bilal Wahab, he covered the KRG’s view of the protests in the south of Iraq and the importance of the US-KRG partnership for peace and prosperity in the region. A livestream of the event is available here: http://bit.ly/37nVtz.

The delegation also continued their outreach to Congress today. At a lunch meeting with the Kurdish American Congressional Caucus they briefed Representatives Ralph Abraham, who co-chairs the Caucus, David Price, Ruben Gallego, Brad Sherman, Michael Cloud, and Andy Kim on a number of pressing security, political, economic, and humanitarian affairs in Kurdistan and Iraq. He thanked them for their staunch support over the years.

Minister Dizayee and Representative Abdul Rahman also met separately with Senators Dianne Feinstein, Chris Van Hollen, and Tammy Baldwin as well as Representative John Moolenar.

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Nechirvan Barzani Reiterates on the Reform Process of MOPA

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, 11 November 2019

President of the Kurdistan Region and Commander-in-Chief of Peshmerga Forces, Nechirvan Barzani met with the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and Commanders of Peshmerga Forces to assess the latest developments of its reform process.

President Barzani reiterated the importance of the reform process within the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. For this reason, President Barzani assigned relevant sides from the Kurdistan Region Presidency and the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs to establish special committees that review and follow up on the reform process and reorganise the ministerial structure and its administrative and legal affairs.

During the meeting, the necessary steps for the reform process and unifying Peshmerga forces were discussed in detail. Both sides highlighted the challenges the reform process is facing and assessed a number of suggestions.

Officials in the meeting recognized and greatly appreciated the support and backing of the International Coalition. In particular, the role of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. It was also decided to hold periodic meetings to follow up on the progress of the reform process.

Both Vice Presidents of the Kurdistan Region, the Minister of Peshmerga Affairs and commanders of Peshmerga Forces attended the meeting.

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Statement of the Meeting of Leaders of the Kurdistan Region

Erbil٫ Kurdistan Region٫ 5 November 2019

The President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani, along with the President of Iraq Barham Salih, the Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Rewas Faiq, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Masrour Barzani, and the Kurdistan Region’s presidential bodies held an extensive meeting with leaders of the political parties in the Kurdistan Region to discuss the current situation and developments of the political process in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

The meeting concluded that the demonstrations taking place in Iraq are the result of accumulated deficiencies in governance over the years and non-implementation of Iraq’s Constitution. The meeting assessed these conditions with concern and stressed on citizens’ rights to freedom of expression. Officials in the meeting supported the legitimate demands of the people of Iraq and agreed with Iraqi Government’s decision to take the necessary measures for reforms to meet legitimate demands. They also reaffirmed the importance of protecting Iraq’s constitutional and legal institutions and securing stability in the country. In particular, taking into account the political situation of the region and the potential dangers of the resurgence of terrorism in Iraq.

Officials in the meeting agreed that the unity of the Kurdistan Region political party is essential in defending the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region, as well as actively participating in solving the issues faced in Iraq.

The meeting also addressed the issue of latest call for amending the Iraq’s Constitution. All sides in the meeting stressed that any amendment to the Constitution of Iraq must preserve the federal system, the rights of all components of Iraq and the constitutional entity of the Kurdistan Region.

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President Barzani: Citizens and Human Values Must be the Pillars of the Constitution

Erbil٫ Kurdistan Region٫ 31 October 2019

President Nechirvan Barzani participated in the sixth Conference of the Kurdistan Bar Association in Erbil. In a speech, President acknowledged the important roles played by the members of the Kurdistan Bar Association in drafting legislations٫ advocating for the rights of the victims of genocide and their advocacy for the constitutional rights of the people of the Kurdistan Region.

President Barzani reiterated Kurdistan Region’s commitment to further strengthen the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary system. He recognized the significant role lawyers have in drafting a constitution for the Kurdistan Region. President Barzani stressed that the Kurdistan Region’s constitution should not contain any discrimination based on religious, sectarian, political, ideological, national, racial and social class, rather it should reflect the cultural background and the modern aspirations of Kurdistan’s society.

President Barzani stated that the current Constitution of Iraq is considered as an advanced constitution if compared to the constitutions of most of the countries in the wider region, stating that the main problem is not the constitution, but it is the failure to implement the constitution.

He also reiterated that any amendments to Iraq’s Constitution should be an accurate reflection of Iraq’s different components and it should respect the legitimate rights of all citizens. President Barzani affirmed that Kurdistan Region does not object amendments aimed at improving the lives of the people of Iraq, however any amendment that results in inequality or threatens democracy and federalism of the country are against the interests of the people of Kurdistan and Iraq.

President Barzani reaffirmed the Kurdistan Regions support for any positive reforms in Iraq and called on the federal government to protect the security and stability of the country. He stated that the current issues faced in Iraq are not new and cannot be solved within one year.
The Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament, Rewaz Faiq, Kurdistan Region ministers, parliamentarians, and legal experts attended the conference as well.

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KRG Convenes to Discuss the Latest Developments in Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Kurdistan Regional Government to discuss the rapidly evolving situation in Iraq.

In light of the ongoing protests, Prime Minister Barzani called for restraint by all sides, reiterating his hope that a peaceful resolution can be found that preserves the progress made since the country overcame war.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed support for the reforms and constructive steps taken by the federal government in response to the legitimate demands of protesters, and denounced efforts to push forward unconstitutional changes to the federal system of Iraq.

Prime Minister Barzani urged every Kurdistani political faction in Baghdad to remain united in protecting the constitutional rights of the people of the Kurdistan Region against divergent political interests.

While welcoming the successful operation to remove Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as a definitive step in the fight against ISIS, Prime Minister Barzani warned that the terrorist organisation remains a threat, and that instability in Iraq heightens the country’s vulnerability.

Noting that Peshmerga forces were the first to succeed in the battle against ISIS following their emergence in Iraq, which paved the way to the group’s defeat in Syria, Prime Minister Barzani reminded his cabinet of the importance of continued cooperation with Iraqi security forces and the global coalition.

Following a discussion about the ongoing instability in Syria, Prime Minister Barzani approved a proposal by the Minister of Interior, Rebar Ahmed, to establish a humanitarian emergency response fund to provide basic and essential services to the new wave of refugees fleeing to the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani emphasised that the Kurdistan Region has already made a huge sacrifice in continuing to host 1.1 million displaced people. He called on the federal government of Iraq, the international community, and local and foreign organizations to contribute to the humanitarian emergency response fund.

Prime Minister Barzani reminded his cabinet of their commitment to build a strong, secure and prosperous Kurdistan, and informed them that key reforms must soon be presented to Parliament for approval.