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Prime Minister Barzani receives EU delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the European Union Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Jean-Christophe Belliard, EU Ambassador to Iraq Ramon Blecua, the head of the European Union Office in Erbil, Clarisse Pásztory and their accompanying delegation.

The delegation welcomed the improved relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, and commended the Kurdistan Region for having accommodated and offered assistance to a large number of internally displaced people and refugees.

They expressed their willingness to support Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in various fields and further strengthen bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the humanitarian and military support provided by a number of the European Union countries to the Kurdistan Region. He also stressed Kurdistan Region’s desire to strengthen relations with the EU countries in various fields.

They also discussed a number of topics related to the situation in Iraq and the wider region, including the threat of the re-emergence of terrorism, coordination between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to contain this threat, and the ongoing talks between the political parties to form the new cabinet of the Kurdistan Region Government.

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Prime Minister Barzani receives U.S. delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received a U.S delegation, led by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Peek, and including U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and U.S. Consul-General to the Kurdistan Region Steven Fagin.

Mr. Peek appreciated the role of Prime Minister Barzani towards solving the issues between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, which improvement in the relations between the two sides.

The steps towards forming a new cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government, bilateral relations, U.S. support and assistance to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and the threat of the re-emergence of terrorism were discussed.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the United States for its assistance to the Kurdistan Region, expressing hope for further development of bilateral relations. He also highly valued the activities of the outgoing U.S. ambassador, who visited the Kurdistan Region to bid farewell to Prime Minister Barzani.

Prime Minister Barzani wished Ambassador Silliman success in his future positions.

The latest developments in the region and a number of topics related to the Middle East were discussed in the meeting.

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Statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – The Kurdistan Regional Government issued the following statement on today’s events in Sheladize:

We express our concerns regarding today’s events in Sheladize that resulted in the loss of life and injuries. We express our condolences and sympathy with the families of the victims.

There is a disruptive hand behind these events. The relevant authorities are conducting a thorough investigation and the perpetrators will face justice.

Kurdistan Regional Government
26 January 2019

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Prime Minister Barzani receives Syriac Orthodox leaders

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received a delegation from the Syriac Orthodox religious leaders in Mosul and the Kurdistan Region, headed by His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church and a number of bishops.

The delegation expressed gratitude to the people, government and the Peshmarga forces of the Kurdistan Region for accommodating and protecting Christians in difficult times. They highlighted the historical roots of the Christians in the region and hailed the peaceful coexistence among the various communities in the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani praised the continued tradition of coexistence in the Kurdistan Region and stressed the protection and promotion of religious freedom.

He hoped that the Christians who fled to the Kurdistan Region would not emigrate and remain in their country. He also expressed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s willingness to further develop Syriac education in the Kurdistan Region.

Stability and developments in the wider region were also discussed in the meeting.

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Prime Minister Barzani receives UK senior judges

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the Right Honourable Lord Justice Gross, Lead Judge for International Relations and the Right Honourable Lady Justice Rafferty, Chair of Judicial College as well as His Honour Judge Hatton, head of trainings at the Judicial College.

The meeting was also attended by the Head of the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region Judge Bangin Qasim, President of the Kurdistan Bar Association Bakhtiyar Qazi and the Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Interior, Mr. Karim Sinjari.

The delegation expressed their willingness to collaborate with the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region, support the role of law and strengthen the courts of the Region at the technical level as well as training the judges at home and abroad, similar to their collaboration with the Iraqi Judicial Council. The objective is to help better manage the cases of terrorism and support the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his government’s full support to the cooperation between the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region and UK judicial authorities that would help to further develop the judiciary experience in the Kurdistan Region.

The latest developments in the region and topics related to the relations between the Kurdistan Region and the United Kingdom were also discussed.

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Prime Minister Barzani meets visiting Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif and his accompanying delegation.

The relations of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq with Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the importance of continued coordination and cooperation in confronting and eliminating terrorism in the region were discussed.

They stressed that the threat of terrorism still exists and the cooperation and coordination among all parties are needed for its eradication.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for its assistance to the Kurdistan Region in the fight against ISIS. He stressed the importance of cooperation and coordination among the countries of the region in the fight against terrorism.

Minister Zarif expressed his support for the improvement of relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad. He hoped that all the issues will be solved through dialogue.

Development of bilateral commercial, cultural, agricultural and scientific cooperation and the situation in the wider region were also discussed in the meeting.

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Prime Minister Barzani meets visiting French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian and his accompanying delegation, including French Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Aubert, and French Consul General to the Kurdistan Region, Dominique Mas.

The meeting was also attended by Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani and a number of KRG senior officials.

The political situation in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as well as the formation of the new Iraqi government and the efforts to form the new cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government were discussed.

Minister Le Drian stressed France’s support to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and expressed his country’s desire to strengthen bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked France for its continued support to the Kurdistan Region in the fight against terrorism, as part of the international coalition.

He highly appreciated the role of President Emmanuel Macaron, who supported the Kurdistan Region during difficult times and urged both the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to engage in dialogue in order to settle their differences.

The relations between the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi federal government as well as neighboring countries, the situation in the wider region and the war against terrorism were also discussed.

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Prime Minister Barzani meets U.S. Secretary of State

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and his accompanying delegation. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.

The regional situation, developments in the Middle East, and the threat of reemergence of terrorism and ways to combat it, were discussed.

Secretary Pompeo highlighted the significance of  recent improvement of relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, and progress being made on some issues. He affirmed that the United States would remain a partner of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the U.S. for its assistance during difficult times. He noted the friendship between the Kurdistan Region and the United States, highlighted joint cooperation between the Kurdistan Region and the international coalition, and stressed that joint actions are required to eliminate the threat of reemergence of terrorism. He emphasized the need of improved coordination between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad to advance security and political stability.

Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s support to Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and that the KRG looks forward to the success of his cabinet. With the resolution of some issues requiring more time, he noted that the political environment has improved and the time is right to begin serious negotiations and pointed to the positive role of the United States.

He briefed the delegation on government reforms and welcomed expertise that could help the reform process in administration and governance.

The latest developments in the greater region and other issues were also discussed.

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Prime Minister Barzani’s New Year message

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on the occasion of the New Year congratulated and offered his best wishes to all communities of the Kurdistan Region.

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

On the occasion of the New Year, I extend my best wishes to all of you. The people of Kurdistan have long suffered and made countless sacrifices in their struggle for a brighter future and to live a peaceful and modern life. I hope their difficulties will be overcome and aspirations achieved.

The people of Kurdistan get all the credit for achievements and accomplishments in the past, since they are the driving force behind all the successes and innovations. Within the realm of progress, shortcomings can emerge as part of the process and can offer opportunity for improvement as we continue to move forward.

The people of Kurdistan in 2018 demonstrated, to inside and the outside world, important attributes when they kept their support to genuine forces in the two Kurdistan and Iraqi parliamentary elections. They demonstrated that the people and the government form one single strong united front which disillusioned the foes.

The people of Kurdistan today are a strong and dynamic example in the Middle East. We represent an area that is free of all forms of political, ethnic, religious or sectarian persecution. Although the majority of our people are Muslims, we are also composed of many other religious communities living in absolute equality with each other.

On the occasion of the New Year, I wish all the people of Kurdistan of every ethnic and religious community all the very best – Sunni and Shia Muslims, Christians – Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Armenians – Yezidis, Kakayees, Sabean-Mandeans, Shabaks, Zoroastrians, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens and others. And also all displaced people and citizens from Syria and Iraq who took refuge in Kurdistan, and all those who live and will celebrate the New Year among us.
I, especially, offer my best wishes to our youth, students, and women seeking a better life and a brighter future. I offer my special best

wishes to the children of Kurdistan. I offer my profound gratitude and best wishes to our security forces and their families – Peshmerga, Asayish, and police – who have been protecting us so well.

On this occasion, we remember all those who shed their blood in ultimate sacrifice for the homeland. Special wishes to their families, hoping their hearts will rejoice with the progress of Kurdistan.

My thanks and appreciation to the people of  Kurdistan, notably the staff of the Kurdistan Regional Government, for their understanding and steadfastness during crisis periods. We are confident the most difficult days are behind us and a bright, stable, progressive, and prosperous future await the people of Kurdistan.

May Kurdistan and the rest of the world celebrate this New Year’s Day in peace, joy, and happiness.

Nechirvan Barzani
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government
31 December 2018

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Prime Minister Barzani meets Vatican Secretary of State

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and his accompanying delegation.

Cardinal Parolin praised the Kurdistan Region for the exemplary level of tolerance and coexistence among its various ethnic and religious communities. He highly appreciated Prime Minister Barzani’s leadership in this regard, and reiterated the Vatican’s support for the Kurdistan Region.

He thanked the people and government of the Kurdistan Region for welcoming, accommodating and assisting an extraordinary number of displaced people, notably displaced Christians.

Prime Minister Barzani and Cardinal Parolin both emphasized the importance of providing security, stability and basic services in areas from where the displaced people fled, so they can return to their homes.

Prime Minister Barzani affirmed that the Christians of Kurdistan are an important community in Kurdistan society. He noted that his government has continuously worked to further strengthen tolerance, coexistence, and mutual acceptance throughout the Region.

They discussed the situation of Christians in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in general, relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad, political developments, and the future of the political process in Iraq. They emphasized resolving outstanding issues between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad on the basis of the Iraqi Constitution.

The situation of the region in general and developments in Syria in particular were also discussed.