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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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President Nechirvan Barzani pays official visit to Qatar

Doha, Qatar, 29 – 30 October 2019

President Nechirvan Barzani met with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Jassim Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar 29th of October 2019 during his official visit to Qatar.

Both leaders discussed the latest security and political developments in Iraq, Erbil-Baghdad relations, Qatari investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region and efforts to open a Consulate of the State of Qatar in Erbil. The situation in Syria and its implications were also discussed .

Qatar’s Ambassador to Iraq and Iraq’s Ambassador to Qatar attended the meeting.

President Nechirvan Barzani met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani 30th of October.

They discussed the latest developments in the region and exchanged views on a number of issues.

President Barzani presented a brief on Erbil-Baghdad relations and the discussions aimed at solving outstanding issues in accordance with Iraq’s Constitution. Both leaders discussed Qatar’s relations with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and opportunities for Qatari investments in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

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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.

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A Statement from Kurdistan Region Presidency

The US-led coalition forces have played a major role in protecting and assisting the people of the Kurdistan Region, starting from establishing no-fly zone in 1991, toppling the Ba’ath regime in 2003, to defeating ISIS terror group in the past few years.

They have fought and bled alongside the Peshmerga forces in defending the Kurdistan Region.
We understand the high emotions of our people but the appreciation for the role and contribution of the coalition forces, especially the United States military, should not be affected by undesirable political decisions.

The Kurdistan Region reiterates its appreciation to the US-led coalition forces and our continued partnership in the fight against Isis

 

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Kurdistan Region President Meets Top UK Military Advisor

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, 15 October 2019

President Nechirvan Barzani received the Senior Adviser to the Middle East and North Africa, Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer and his accompanying delegation.

President Barzani discussed the reform process of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs and thanked the United Kingdom and other countries within the International Coalition for their support.

During the meeting, President Nechirvan Barzani expressed his appreciation for the UK and the International Coalition for their support to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. President Barzani emphasized on the importance of the continued UK support in protecting the achievements of the war against terror and preventing terrorist resurgence.

Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer reaffirmed his country’s support to the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs for its reform process, training of Peshmerga forces, and confronting terrorism. Both sides reiterated the importance of cooperation between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi Army in the disputed areas and in confronting terrorist threats. They also discussed Erbil- Baghdad relations, latest developments in Iraq and Syria, the military operations in the east of the Euphrates and its effect on the security and stability of the wider region

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Peshmerga Affairs and the General Consul of the United Kingdom to the Kurdistan Region.

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Kurdistan Region President Meets with Leaders of Political Parties

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, 16 October 2019

President Nechirvan Barzani met with leaders and representatives of political parties that have seats in the Kurdistan Parliament. The President of the Kurdistan Region called for the meeting to exchange views among Kurdistan political parties and to unify their positions.

The main topics of the meeting were the assessment of the internal situation of the Kurdistan Region, the Kurdistan Region’s relations with the Iraqi Federal Government, the tensions of the wider region and the effects and implications of the military operation in Syria.

All political sides agreed on the need to hold these meetings periodically. They considered the Kurdistan Region Presidency as the highest executive institution in the Kurdistan Region to hold these discussions.

The participating political parties also agreed that all sides, including the opposition parties, should bear their share of responsibilities on the national matters relevant to the Kurdistan Region.

Regarding the relations between Kurdistan Region with the Iraqi Federal Government, it was recommended that all parties unite their voice in the dialogue process with the Federal Government and Iraqi political parties in order to attain all rights of the people of Kurdistan. Including matters of budget allocation and the issues of Kurdish areas outside the Kurdistan Region’s administration in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution.

The participating sides also agreed to establish a unified bloc in the Council of Representatives of Iraq with the goal of uniting all efforts in the Iraqi institutions including Iraqi Presidency, Government and Council of Representative. The meeting also stressed Iraq’s need for stability, taking into account the sensitive situation of the wider region, the legitimate demands of citizens, de-escalation of violence and the protection of state institutions.

As for the military operation in Syria, the adoption of a pragmatic policy approach was recommended to protect the interests of the Kurdistan Region and its citizens. Also, it was recommended that all institutions and the political parties take all efforts to end the war and encourage peaceful dialogue that guarantees the rights of all the Syrian components.

Parties participating in the meeting:
– Kurdistan Democratic Party
– Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
– The Gorran Movement
– Kurdistan Islamic Group
– Kurdistan Islamic Union
– National Union Alliance
– Turkmen Development Party
– The Socialist Democratic Party of Kurdistan
– Kurdistan Communist Party
– Assyrian Movement
– Turkmen Front
– The Kurdistan Labour and Proletarian Party
– Turkmen Reform Party
– The Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian Assembly
– People’s bloc
– Armenian bloc

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President Barzani: We Spare No Effort to Stop the War

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, 10 October 2019

President Nechirvan Barzani says the Kurdistan Region is deeply concerned about the military operation in Syria.  In a statement on Thursday, the President of the Kurdistan Region called upon the international community to take concrete steps to end the war and build a lasting peace in Syria.

Below is President Barzani’s full statement:

We have been closely monitoring the developments in Syria and we are deeply concerned about the military operation in the east of Euphrates, especially as extremist groups of Syrian opposition are taking part in the operation.

War leads to more destruction, displacement of civilians and instability in the entire region and could pave the way for resurgence of more serious and vicious terror campaigns.

We, in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, made immense sacrifices to defeat terror, and we have witnessed the destruction of war first-hand.  We are very concerned and cautious about deteriorating security and stability, as it might lead to unforeseen and dangerous consequences, affecting the region and the world. Therefore, we spare no effort to stop this war and bring about peace, and we are ready to provide mediation and assistance.

Fighting and armed conflicts greatly undermine the region’s stability, erase the gains made against ISIS, and serve no one’s interest.  I call upon the international community and the United Nations Security Council to find a just and comprehensive solution for Syria’s future, a solution that protects the rights of all Syrians, and take concrete steps to end this war, build a lasting peace through dialogue and political means, and prevent another refugee crisis.

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Kurdistan Region President Receives Foreign Minister of Russian Federation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, 07 October 2019

President Nechirvan Barzani received Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov..
President Barzani conveyed his appreciation to President Vladimir Putin and Russia for supporting the Kurdistan Region during difficult times. He also thanked Minister Lavrov and considered his visit as a sign of support for the Kurdistan Region.

President Barzani also expressed his concern with the situation of Kurds in Syria and requested Minister Lavrov’s cooperation to work with the international community and help protect the rights of Kurds in Syria.

During the meeting, Minister Lavrov stressed Russia’s continued support for the Kurdistan Region and welcomed the improved relations between Erbil-Baghdad and continued dialogue aimed at resolving outstanding issues in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution.

Minister Lavrov also expressed his appreciation to the Kurdistan Region for providing investment opportunities to Russian private sector companies in the Region, especially in the energy sector. He also confirmed that his country will continue to support and aid the Kurdistan Region and Iraq against terrorism.

Both sides discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations,, the latest developments in the region, threats of terrorist resurgence in Iraq and the wider region, and the Kurdistan Region’s relations with neighboring countries.

The meeting was also attended by the Vice Presidents of the Kurdistan Region and officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government.