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Prime Minister Barzani’s message on the arrival of Ramadan

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – I extend my warm wishes to Muslims in the Kurdistan Region and across the world on the advent of Ramadan. I hope this holy month brings compassion, joy and good deeds. May God answer all our prayers.

On this occasion, I also extend my gratitude to religious leaders and clerics in the Kurdistan Region, who are playing an important role in communicating health guidelines designed to protect the public from the coronavirus. I call on them to continue advising people to comply with these health measures for their own safety and that of their fellow citizens.

I hope Ramadan brings blessings and happiness to everyone.

Masrour Barzani
Prime Minister
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Prime Minister Barzani chairs cabinet meeting on coronavirus, warns disease still a threat

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday chaired a cabinet meeting via video conference to discuss the ongoing coronavirus threat. He thanked the public for their resilience and commitment to the lockdown measures aimed at containing the disease and urged continued compliance.

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani also attended the meeting, in which the Prime Minister said the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) proactive measures to fight the coronavirus have worked.

The Prime Minister said local authorities have taken steps in lifting some social distancing measures to normalize peoples’ lives, while key mitigation measures remain in place to prevent a rebound of the disease. These efforts will continue to ensure life goes back to normal in a phased manner.

The cabinet also discussed the recent visit by a KRG delegation to Baghdad, as discussions continue during the difficult economic situation regarding the Kurdistan Region’s share of the federal budget.

The cabinet reiterated its commitment to the agreement reached with the Iraqi Ministries of Oil, Finance and Planning in late 2019 concerning this year’s budget.

The cabinet also stressed that they will do their best to pay the salaries of government employees on time. They reiterated that any payment delays are due to falling oil prices and the coronavirus lockdown measures, as well as the delay in receiving the KRG’s budget allocation from Baghdad.

Finally, the cabinet wished a happy Ramadan to Muslims in the Kurdistan Region, and decided that schools, mosques, churches and other places of worship will remain closed to prevent community transmission and a resurgence of the coronavirus.

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Prime Minister’s message on 122nd anniversary of Kurdish journalism

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – I extend my warmest wishes to journalists in the Kurdistan Region on the 122nd anniversary of Kurdish journalism and the publication of ‘Kurdistan’, the first Kurdish newspaper.

I also congratulate you on the 22nd anniversary of the establishment of the Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate.

Media outlets in the Kurdistan Region are playing an important role in communicating government guidelines designed to protect the public from the coronavirus pandemic.

I also pay tribute to the intellectuals and journalists serving the people of Kurdistan, as well as those who lost their lives defending our region.

Masrour Barzani
Kurdistan Regional Government
Prime Minister

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Prime Minister Barzani chairs cabinet meeting on coronavirus, thanks people for patience in fight against pandemic

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Wednesday chaired a cabinet meeting via video conference to discuss the latest developments in the battle against the coronavirus, and to review social distancing measures.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) thanked the region’s population for their resilience and commitment to public health guidelines, and decided to extend the existing leave for staff of government departments until May 2. All travel restrictions remain in place.

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani also attended the meeting, in which Prime Minister Barzani stressed that the government will strive to ease the burden on peoples’ livelihoods without undermining government guidelines in the fight against the virus.

The cabinet also decided to assign KRG Minister of State Khalid Salam Saeed to form a delegation to visit Baghdad to discuss the Kurdistan Region’s share in the Iraqi government’s budget, and to coordinate with the federal government to fight the coronavirus pandemic and tackle the economic crisis.

The KRG paid tribute to victims of the Anfal genocide on the 32nd anniversary of this horrific crime, and called on the federal government to fulfill its moral and constitutional duty to compensate victims of this massacre as well as for the damage inflicted on the Kurdistan Region due to racist policies of previous regimes, as stipulated in the constitution.

The cabinet also condemned the ISIS terrorist attack on the town of Kolajo last week, in which two Peshmerga fighters were killed and others were injured. This attack is a reminder of the ongoing threat of terror to our region.

The KRG also commended Peshmerga forces for assisting security forces in enforcing the curfew, alongside their tireless endeavours to protect Kurdistan Region from terrorist attacks.

Finally, the government sent warm greetings to Christians on the occasion of Easter and to Yazidis on their new year.

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Prime Minister‘s message on the Yazidi New Year

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – I extend best wishes to my fellow Yazidi citizens in the Kurdistan Region and across the world on the occasion of the Yazidi new year. I hope the new year will bring you happiness, and mark an end to the pain and hardship caused by the genocide you suffered at the hands of Isis terrorists in recent years.

The Kurdistan Regional Government is committed to defend and protect the rights of all religious and ethnic groups, including the indigenous Yazidi community.

Masrour Barzani
Prime Minister

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Prime Minister Barzani’s message on the 32nd anniversary of the Anfal genocide

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the worst genocide against the peoples of Kurdistan. The genocide was a series of massacres which aimed to eliminate the Kurdish identity and wipe out the Kurdistani nation.

This was an horrific crime, which the people of Kurdistan cannot forget. Thousands of innocent people were killed while the world watched. The profound pain will continue to live on in our memories. But this anniversary should not merely be a commemoration of our past suffering. We must work together to eradicate the evil and racist ideologies that drove the Anfal genocide.

The Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to strive for a global recognition of Anfal as genocide, and improve the living conditions of the families of the victims. The Iraqi government too should fulfil its moral and constitutional responsibility to compensate victims of this terrible crime and provide reassurances that it will not be repeated in the future.

Masrour Barzani
Kurdistan Regional Government
Prime Minister

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Prime Minister Barzani sends warm greetings to Christians at Easter

I extend my best wishes to those who observe Easter in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and around the world. I hope God answers your prayers and I wish you a peaceful celebration.

Kurdistan has long been a cradle for the coexistence of different religions, and the Kurdistan Regional Government wishes to take this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to defend, protect and develop religious tolerance.

Easter coincides with the coronavirus pandemic which has hit the entire world, including the Kurdistan Region. At this time, I call on the public to continue abiding by public health guidelines.

Masrour Barzani
Kurdistan Regional Government
Prime Minister

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Deputy Prime Minister Talabani chairs meeting of the coronavirus committee, reassures people of commitment to contain further infections

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Monday chaired the government’s high-level committee to combat coronavirus. The committee spoke via videoconference to re-evaluate official curfew guidelines designed to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.

The Deputy Prime Minister spoke about the government’s upcoming plans and thanked healthcare professionals and the security forces for their crucial work. He also recognised the public’s commitment to following government guidelines and emphases that the guidelines are in place to save lives.

During the meeting, Minister of Health Saman Hussein Muhammad presented the latest figures on coronavirus in the Kurdistan Region.

The following decisions were made in the meeting after a careful review of the latest curfew guidelines.

1. The 48-hour curfew will remain in place until midnight (12 am).
2. The curfew decree banning travel through the Kurdistan Region until April 10 will remain in place until the Ministry of Interior, governorates and local administrations issue new guidelines, including a timeline for markets and grocery shops to open.
3. The government will determine a time for people across the Kurdistan Region to pay tribute to healthcare workers and security forces who have been working tirelessly in the fight against coronavirus.
4. Relevant departments in the KRG are asked to prepare their reports on future plans and guidelines to protect the public from this virus.
5. The Ministry of Interior will form a committee to investigate an incident involving a physician who was recently attacked in the province of Slemani.

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Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani meets Slemani Governor, hails anti-coronavirus efforts

Slemani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani visited Slemani Governor Dr Havel Abubakir on Saturday, to discuss the latest government plans to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The Deputy Prime Minister exchanged views with Dr Abubakir on the latest developments in the fight against the pandemic, as well as the measures being taken to slow and stop the spread of the virus.

He commended the governor for implementing government guidelines and his efforts to protect people from the pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Talabani asked the governor to maintain the strong coordination currently in place among city divisions to confront the threat of the virus.

He also thanked the city’s health department and security forces for their hard work in enforcing government guidelines.

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PM Barzani chairs cabinet meeting on public finances, fight against coronavirus pandemic

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani chaired a video conference cabinet meeting today to discuss the Kurdistan Region’s financial situation in light of the coronavirus pandemic, its economic implications, the drop in oil prices and the government’s plans to reform public expenditure.

Prime Minister Barzani told the cabinet that despite the dramatic fall in revenues, the government will do all it can to ensure the region’s people are least affected. He added that the government’s current priorities cover public health, food and salaries.

Prime Minister Barzani said that economic diversification in all sectors, particularly agriculture, is at the heart of his cabinet’s agenda. Therefore, the government fully supports the programs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.

The Kurdistan Regional Government decided unanimously that their main priority is keeping civil servants’ pay unchanged, while members of the cabinet agreed to offer half of their wages and bonuses for the next two months to the government treasury, for redistribution to low-income families.

The meeting reviewed and approved a draft proposal for implementing the KRG’s 2020 reform agenda, that would guarantee the salaries of public employees.

Prime Minister Barzani tasked a legal committee with finding a mechanism to alleviate the financial burdens on daily wage earners and tenants who have been affected by the lockdown against the coronavirus.

The KRG approved a motion by the Minister of Finance and Economy to reduce non-essential public and ministerial expenses in order to maintain the civil servant payroll.

The ministers of education and higher education presented a report on the state of schools and learning centers across the region, and the cabinet supported a plan for the consolidation of the school year through online courses.

The Minister of Health, Saman Hussein Muhammad, updated cabinet members on the fight against the coronavirus. The government backed an initiative that would allow the Ministry of Health to acquire all medical equipment and medicine in direct coordination with governors and district administration heads.

The Prime Minister and his cabinet applauded the heath and law enforcement agencies for their ceaseless efforts to keep members of the public safe, and called on everyone to continue complying with the government’s health instructions.