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Prime Minister Barzani receives Russia’s new Consul General

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the new Consul General of the Russian Federation to the Kurdistan Region, Mr. Oleg Levin.

Prime Minister Barzani congratulated Consul General Levin for his new position and wished him success in his duties. He expressed his government’s desire to further develop relations with the Russian Federation, especially in the fields of trade, agriculture, electricity and tourism.

He gave a brief overview about the political situation in the Kurdistan Region and the current efforts to form the new cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Consul General Levin commended the KRG for hosting, accommodating, and providing assistance to a large number of IDPs and refugees.

He expressed his willingness to further develop bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Topics related to the political and security situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in general were also discussed.

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Prime Minister Barzani receives IICO delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), Dr. Abdullah Matouq Al-Matouq, and his accompanying delegation.

They discussed the situation of internally displaced people and refugees who took refuge in the Kurdistan Region and their needs were highlighted. Increasing assistance to this population by NGOs and international agencies was stressed.

Dr. Al-Matouq highlighted his visit to IDP camps and the aid which has been provided in the past by the IICO and the Kuwait government. He said he will convey the needs of the Kurdistan Region to international forums.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his thanks for the assistance provided by IICO and Kuwait. He stressed that the Kurdistan Region needs from the international community and the Iraqi government to meet the requirements of the displaced people, especially in the fields of education and health, including psychological treatment.

The humanitarian situation in Mosul and the difficulties charitable organizations face, were also discussed.

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Prime Minister Barzani’s statement on thirty-first anniversary of Anfal genocide campaign

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani made a statement on the thirty-first anniversary of the Anfal genocide campaign.

Below is the text of Prime Minister Barzani’s statement:

Once again, after more than 30 years, we commemorate the victims and families of the brutal Anfal campaign to extinguish all life in villages, towns, and cities of our dear Kurdistan by annihilating women, men and children, including the elderly.

The chauvinistic policies of the Baath regime towards our nation, in addition to the destruction, intimidation, and imposition of the terrifying power of the Iraqi government, ended the lives of more than 180,000 people with heavy weapons and poisonous chemical bombardments from the skies of Kurdistan.

As a nation, it is our duty to provide full assistance and support to the surviving families so they may reconstruct their communities and improve their living conditions, and not only to commemorate the Anfal victims.

In addition to all the complexities and political difficulties in the country, healing the wounds of Anfal and compensating family of victims for their losses should be the priority of the Iraqi government. This is their moral and historical responsibility.

In order to prevent similar crimes against our nation in the future under any racist, religious, or any political ideologies, we must not forget the Anfal victims and their families. Let us remember them today, tomorrow, and every day.

Nechirvan Barzani
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region
14 April 2019

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Prime Minister Barzani receives Paris Mayor

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Paris Mayor Ms Anne Hidalgo and her accompanying delegation.

Mayor Hidalgo expressed her desire to develop relations with the governorates of the Kurdistan Region, and cooperation in several sectors, particularly clean energy, culture, transportation and communications.

She commended the people and government of the Kurdistan Region for hosting, accommodating, and providing assistance to a large number of IDPs and refugees and the effective role of Peshmerga forces in the fight against terrorism, thus contributing to the protection of world security. She also praised the peacefull coexistence among various religious and ethnic communities in the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked France and the international community for supporting the Kurdistan Region against ISIS. He said that without such assistance victory would not have been achieved. He stated that the current phase in the fight against terrorism requires the eradication of ISIS ideology.

He expressed his thanks to President Macron, who supported the Kurdistan Region politically after the tensions of October 2017, helping d the resumption of talks between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, and resolution of some issues.

He stressed that the Kurdistan Regional Government promotes the Region’s ancient tradition of tolerance and coexistence among its communities. As example, he mentioned the opening of a new Armenian Church in the Kurdistan Region last week in Erbil, helping also the displaced Armenians who took refuge in Kurdistan to pray in their own church.

As the relations with Baghdad start to improve and the economy to recove after the victory on ISIS, Prime Minister Barzani stressed that it is time now to work on development, including adoption of clean energy and environmental protection measures.

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Prime Minister Barzani receives U.S. delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq Joey Hood, U.S. Consul-General to the Kurdistan Region Steven Fagin, USAID Special Representative for Minority Assistance Programs Max Primorac, and their accompanying delegation.

The delegation commended the Kurdistan Regional Government for hosting, accommodating, and providing assistance to a large number of IDPs and refugees without discrimination. They stressed the importance of continuation of assistance to all communities who are displaced due to ISIS’ terrorism until personal security and political stability is reasonably assured in their home areas.

They discussed steps taken in the formation of the new cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government, progress in relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad toward resolving outstanding issues, and threats of reemergence of terrorism in some areas to be addressed by joint coordination between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad.

The situation of the greater region and topics related to economic improvement of the Kurdistan Region were also discussed.

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In meeting with Minister Falah Mustafa, Mercy Corps’ new country director looks forward to more to cooperation with KRG

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (dfr.gov.krd) – Minister Falah Mustafa met Ms Tanya Evans, the newly appointed Iraq Country Director of Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian NGO.

Minister Mustafa, Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), welcomed Ms Evans in her new role as the country director, saying that the DFR and other KRG institutions work hard to maintain ties with partners and facilitate the important work of NGOs in the Region.

Minister Mustafa thanked Mercy Corps for their humanitarian assistance to displaced persons, in particular for their important work of empowering women and children living in camps. He said  “The KRG is committed with the international community to provide services and an effective response to the basic needs of refugees and IDPs including food, education, and health, and to help them to return to their original homes”.

He also briefed Ms. Evans on current developments in Kurdistan and coordination mechanisms with humanitarian and international organizations, Erbil-Baghdad ties and the formation of the new KRG cabinet.

Ms Evans said that Mercy Corps’ goal is to empower young people through education and helping them to return to their homes. She looked forward to strengthening cooperation with the KRG.

Mercy Corps has been working in Iraq since 2003, implementing relief and development programs much of them focused on refugees and displaced persons.

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Prime Minister Barzani receives USIP delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the President of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Ms Nancy Lindborg and her accompanying delegation.

The delegation expressed their gratitude for assistance provided by the KRG in support of USIP activities. They commended the Kurdistan Regional Government for hosting, accommodating, and providing assistance to a large number of IDPs and refugees.

The delegation expressed their concern regarding the causes that prevent their return to their place of origin, due to inadequate safety and services. They highlighted the importance of effective discussion among government institutions with displaced people.

Prime Minister Barzani assured the delegation that the KRG exert all efforts to build confidence among various communities and support effective services to enable them to return to their homes.

He also explained the political process in Iraq and efforts to establish a strong relationship between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Region. This has already helped solve some issues and is enabling resolution of more issues in the future.

Prime Minister Barzani also noted serious efforts are being made by all parties to soon form the new KRG cabinet.

Prime Minister Barzani: Science is key to our progress

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani stressed that the only way for a nation to prosper and move forward is by expanding and deepening its education in various academic disciplines.”

He made the statement in his speech at the ceremony held to award Professor Caucher Birkar an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Salahaddin. Dr Caucher received the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics, in 2018.

Below is the transcript of Prime Minister Barzani’s speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome you all and, especially, I warmly welcome Dr. Caucher Birkar. I commend the University of Salahaddin and its president Dr Ahmed Dizayee for awarding Professor Caucher Birkar an honorary doctorate degree.

Today, I am pleased for two reasons. Surely, the first reason is that Dr. Caucher is present here with us today. Secondly, it is time we proceed to a normal, civilized lifestyle after being distracted by so much war and hardship.

We should never forget that the only way for a nation to prosper and move forward is by expanding and deepening its education in various academic disciplines. As individuals, and as a society, we should know that a bright future is only possible through seeking knowledge, understanding, and creativity.

The people of Kurdistan, wherever they may be, take pride in their scholars, academics, or scientists who propel their homeland forward in various domains of education and research, and spearhead the process of modernisation of their society. This is an outstanding endeavor that is equally important for politicians to achieve for their nation. While Kurdistan boasts of the Peshmerga and other courageous members of our nation, we also look toward scholarly competence that engages, educates, and empowers our people.

With the support of his family, we know Dr. Caucher relied on his personal motivation and efforts to be awarded the renowned Fields Medal in mathematics. The valuable lesson here is for our youth to rely more on themselves. Excuses and criticism will not solve the problems we face. Time passes quickly and we need to be diligent in using our time effectively to learn and apply ourselves.

Despite economic constraints, the Kurdistan Regional Government has always put education as a top priority. The Kurdistan Region today accommodates 30 universities with tens of thousands of students and thousands of faculty members.

Surely, we do not claim that everything is perfect and there are no deficiencies. I urge students and lecturers to seize every opportunity and not waste any time during this unique phase in the life of Iraqi Kurdistan. In the pursuit of knowledge and critical understanding, students and faculty should work day and night. As an honored member of our nation, we see Dr Caucher as a prime role model of diligence and success.

Our students should pay warm tributes to our late distinguished poets such as Khani, Qanni’, Peeramerd, and Bekas who urged us to seek knowledge. Also, we should feel deeply proud when we look at the portraits of our great national leaders such as Shiekh Mahmood, Qazi Muhammed, and Barzani, those who sacrificed everything for us and our future.

We as the KRG have always regarded universities and other educational institutions as priority, even during times when Kurdistan Region was under a severe double economic embargo [1991 – 2003]. Before the formation of the KRG, university admission was a dream. Today, most households include students and graduates.

The objective of students should be acquiring knowledge and higher scientific level, and not only seeking to obtain a diploma or certificate.

Here, today, I urge the heads of all our public and private universities to endeavour to make the Kurdistan Region a leading example of an education system. This is our real struggle. We can realise the dreams of our ancestors through education and knowledge.

In the past, not only have we been blessed with many great political leaders, we also have had many scholars, intellectuals, and artists. When we examine the history of science and culture written in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish languages, we see many names from Kurdistan.

Though we are proud of our mutual history with our neighbors, the contributions of Kurdistan scholars are too often attributed to other nations that have attained global recognition. Today, the Kurdistan Region is a legal entity known to the global community and in the future will be further defined.  This mission cannot be achieved only by politicians and Peshmerga alone. You in the schools and institutions of higher education are equally important in attaining this goal.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wanted to be here to make these remarks. I am very pleased to meet Dr. Caucher Birkar, for whom we specially gather here today.

I would like to congratulate the people of Kurdistan among whom a successful scholar like Professor Caucher Birkar, has emerged. I am certain that every individual in Kurdistan takes special pride in his success.

My sincere congratulations to Dr. Caucher for all his scholarly achievements and his well-earned awards. I would like to congratulate Dr. Caucher’s esteemed family for everything they have done. Our nation is proud to be gifted with such talent. With scholarly achievement he has greatly served his nation and country. I want to recite a quote from late US President John F. Kennedy:  ”Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

I congratulate the people of Kurdistan for all our universities, students, and faculty. This great improvement and achievement should be appreciated.

I want to commend the Ministry of Education and its Minister Dr Pishtiwan Sadiq for their efforts in enabling Kurdistan to participate in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2022. This study, which is conducted every four years, will evaluate our education system.

My greetings to you all, particularly heads of universities, students, faculty, and public servants. Always remember that in you we see great potential and we expect more success.

As I said before, I hope this event and the New Year will be catalysts for a new stage of scholarly adavancement in the lives of the people of Kurdistan. We should not forget that our future relies on our pursuit of scientific knowledge and understanding.

Thank you.

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Prime Minister Barzani’s speech at the Middle East Tourism Exhibition

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani opened the Middle East Tourism Exhibition in Erbil. 

In a speech, he recalled that “if it were not for recent very difficult years, the Kurdistan Region would have developed its tourism infrastructure and services to a much higher level.” He stressed, “To reduce our dependency on oil and gas, we need to advance to a new era of growth and development based on tourism, agriculture, and industrialization. Through this exhibition, I invite private sector entrepreneurs and investors, both foreign and domestic, to come to the Kurdistan Region and invest in tourism sector.”

Bellow is the transcript of Prime Minister Barzani’s speech:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to the “Middle East Tourism Exhibition”. I would like to especially welcome the Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities Mr. Abdulamir Al-Hamdani, and the Head of Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities Committee of the Iraqi Council of Representatives.  I also warmly welcome members of the diplomatic corps and other foreign representatives in the Kurdistan Region, Head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, all companies, investors, and guests attending this year’s exhibition.

I am glad to attend this event and hope the exhibition helps to invigorate tourism in the Kurdistan Region. I want to thank the KRG Minister of Municipalities and Tourism Ms. Nawroz Mawlood and the Ministry for their assistance and support to this event.

I want to thank the organizers of the “Middle East Tourism Expo” and the KRG General Board of Tourism in the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism headed by Mr. Mawlawi Jabar.

Ladies and gentlemen,

With its many attractive characteristics, the Kurdistan Region intends to become a prime center for tourism in the Middle East.
With its natural beauty, breathtaking scenery, unexplored mountains, rivers, forests, archaeological and historical sites, the Kurdistan Region has great potential for tourism through all four seasons of the year. An important, distinctive feature of the Kurdistan Region is its people with their welcoming attitude and warm hospitality, who have always sought a secure and peaceful life.

I hope holding such an exhibition will encourage entrepreneurs and investors to undertake tourism projects in the Kurdistan Region that will attract over the coming years an increasing number of tourists.  We look forward to this exhibition promoting  a wide range of high quality services that will make the Kurdistan Region a preferred destination for tourists from neighboring areas and throughout the Middle East.

There is little doubt that if it were not for recent very difficult years, the Kurdistan Region would have developed its tourism infrastructure and services to a much higher level.

For development of tourism in the Kurdistan Region, the KRG depends on the private sector for the crucial role it can play.  To reduce our dependency on oil and gas, we need to advance to a new era of growth and development based on tourism, agriculture, and industrialization.

Through this exhibition, I invite private sector entrepreneurs and investors, both foreign and domestic, to come to the Kurdistan Region and invest in tourism sector. The Region’s tourism potentials could be an important source of financial benefit and job creation.
In order to protect and grow its economy beyond its current dependence on oil and gas, the Kurdistan Region should focus on diversification by developing its agricultural, industrial, and tourism potentials.  With tourism as one of the Kurdistan Region’s main priorities, the KRG is ready to fully support and facilitate the implementation of projects by local and foreign entrepreneurs and investors.

We know that rules, regulations, routines and administrative procedures might discourage investment. Today, in this event, I assure you all that the Kurdistan Region through its reform plans will do its best to eliminate these defects and provide more attractive investment opportunities in all sectors.

From its beginning, the policy of the KRG has been to enable the private sector to be an active partner in reconstructing and developing all sectors in the Kurdistan Region. In the next phase, participation of the private sector will be broadened to develop tourism, agriculture, and industry sectors.

Ladies and gentlemen,

With great hope, we look toward further developing our relations with Baghdad. We want to solve all issues in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution. We hope this will encourage entrepreneurs and investors to develop and support projects in the Kurdistan Region from where they can extend their efforts to other parts of Iraq.

During upcoming Newroz festivities, I kindly urge all KRG security forces and other relevant authorities at checkpoints and airports to act in a hospitable and professional manner when they receive thousands of our Iraqi brothers and sisters as well as visitors from other countries, and to provide them with every possible support and facility.

Our culture of tolerance and coexistence should be reflected in the actions and manners of all security forces and relevant authorities at checkpoints and airports. Our Iraqi brothers and sisters who choose to come to the Kurdistan Region are visiting their own country and should never feel that they are visiting another country.

KRG authorities have predicted there will be crowds during this year’s Newroz festivities and I’m sure the security forces will do their best. I kindly request the security forces to help tourists and guests as much as they can.  To protect Kurdistan’s natural environment during their picnics, I call on our citizens and visitors to keep our Region clean.

In the end, I would like to, again, welcome you all. I thank the KRG General Board of Tourism and the “Middle East Tourism Expo” for organizing this exhibition. I hope this exhibition will pave the way for further collaboration as well as signing many contracts for investment projects. I think such events are crucial and should be made annually.

I wish you all success.

Thank you and have a nice day.

 

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Head of DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa to join Diplomatic Corps in the 31st commemoration of chemical attack on Halabja

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (dfr.gov.krd) – Head of KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa along with the head of foreign missions in the Kurdistan Region participated in the commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the chemical attack on Halabja organized by Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal affairs and Halabja governorate.

Head of DFR, Minister Mustafa paid his tribute to the martyrs of Halabja and all the martyrs of Kurdistan liberation struggle and placed a wreath of flower on the memorial of the martyrs. Minister also affirmed to continue the efforts to cover the treatment of the victims of the chemical attack, and delivering more services to the city of Halabja, and with the friends of the people of Kurdistan and the international community to address the Halabja tragedy as Genocide at the international level.

He also stressed and called on Iraqi government for necessity cooperation to compensate Halabja people and victims of the genocide, as well as make the city as a symbol of sacrifices and ideal city in the world.