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United Nations calls on Kurdistan Region to help easing Iraq political tension

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday received UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jan Kubiš, and his accompanying delegation.

Mr. Kubiš discussed the recent political developments in Iraq, expressing his concern at the turmoil in the Iraqi Council of Representatives last week, noting the UN is in discussion with all parties to overcome the political crisis.

He hoped Iraqi Kurdistan would engage with all parties to help ease the situation and send a delegation to Baghdad for talks.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the UN envoy for his initiative, noting that despite the fact Iraqi Kurdistan has a number of contentious issues with Baghdad, he said the administrative, political and security vacuum in Baghdad under current circumstances is not in the interest of neither Iraq nor the entire region.

He said Iraqi Kurdistan will continue its support to the current Iraqi government in continuing its duties, and seek easing the situation through discussion with other parties.

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Prime Minister Barzani praises private sector’s support for education in Kurdistan

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday attended the handover ceremony of a school built by UB Holding to the Ministry of Education.

Following is the text of Prime Minister Barzani’s speech:

Dear distinguished guests,
Good evening,

Before I get into my speech, please allow me to update you about the latest advances of the Peshmerga forces against ISIS terrorists during the last three days in Kirkuk area and Bashir village, which was under the control of ISIS for a long time. Today, fierce fighting occurred also in Teleskuf between Peshmerga forces and ISIS terrorists. I salute the souls of our lost Peshmergas during the last three days and wish a speedy recovery for the wounded.

Today our brave Peshmerga forces, by sacrificing their lives, repelled multiple ISIS attacks in several fronts. I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the martyred Peshmergas. Fighting ISIS is a shared responsibility, and I hope together we can defeat our common enemy. The role of Peshmerga forces in fighting this terrorist organization is of great value, as they are defending humanity and peaceful coexistence in Iraq.

I am very pleased to be here with you all at this special event. An event which is not only about constructing a new building or providing educational needs, but also an event that demonstrates love for your nation, people and country. This event is a clear indication of the will and the generosity of our people in contributing to the reconstruction of Kurdistan, such efforts are highly appreciated.

Today UB Holding Group is handing over its tenth school to the KRG Ministry of Education. All ten schools were funded and built by UB Holding according to international standards. During such challenging times, there is not better gift to students and the ministry of education than a modern school building.

The UB Holding has built six, nine, and twelve classroom schools in Semel, Bardarash, Slemani,Amedi, Batifa, Halabja, Zakho, and today we are here for the delivery of this 18-classroom school. UB Holding has also taken the responsibility to provide all school equipment and necessities for all the ten schools. In addition, the group has renovated 12 schools in different areas of Kurdistan.

The location of this school was previously occupied by illegal housing construction, disregarding the master plan of the municipality. According to a plan, which was set by the governorate of Erbil in coordination with Habitat, the government demolished more than 500 illegal houses, and compensated each family with a piece of land in another location were all services were provided.

As part of their activities, the UB Holding has offered the much needed humanitarian assistance to the displaced Yezidis, Christians, the beloved people of Shingal and others fleeing ISIS brutality. They have built halls and camps, in particular in Zakho to accommodate the displaced people and have provided basic humanitarian assistance in those camps. This is in addition to their continued support to our brave Peshmerga forces in the frontlines. They have done all of these projects because of their love for Kurdistan. I thank them and I wish them continued success.

Ladies and gentlemen,

One of the main problems facing Kurdistan’s education sector is lack of school buildings. Despite the fact that building schools has always been in the agenda of the government and to some extent we have succeeded in reaching our goal but continued increase in the number of students requires building more schools.

I’m glad to say that since the fall of the former regime in 2003, there has been a steady increase in school enrolment. This indicates that our people look into the future with optimism and try to build a better future for their children through education. As a result, the government came under huge pressure to build more schools and provide educational necessities. The numbers put forward by the KRG Minister of Education gave us a good idea about the difference in the situation in the past and now.

We are in need of private sector and donors to help us build schools; it will be an immense support for the KRG and for the education sector in Kurdistan.
Contributions of the private sector in the development and reconstruction of Kurdistan is of great important to KRG. Building more schools will help to provide a better learning environment for our children at schools.

The Kurdistan Regional Government remains committed to enhance the quality and standard of education. We will do whatever it takes to assure that our children are receiving an empowering and a world-class education in order to prepare them for a bright future. That was the theme of the latest education conference of our ministry of education.

Considering the current needs of Kurdistan Region in terms of reconstruction and development, I would like to reiterate that we are making concerted efforts to promote vocational trainings in various fields and to double our support for such kind of educational programmes so that we can have enough experts in different fields in order to rely on our people at all levels.

To achieve this goal in a near future, the Ministry of Education is assigned to take serious steps and scientific measures in that regard. The goal, unlike in the past, is to promote vocational educations in Kurdistan and offer job opportunities to the graduates that would enable them to contribute to the development of our region and to provide a better life for their families.

We greatly value the initiatives from private sector and individuals to build schools. We have seen such efforts in the past and we are glad that the desire to help government build more schools is increasing.

As part of the campaign launched by the ministry of education for the 2015-2016 academic year, 600 schools were renovated by the private sector and individuals in the four governorates of Erbil, Slemani, Duhok, and Halabja. Taking into consideration the economic challenges facing the KRG, such kind of efforts are of great help to KRG. We hope that we will continue to see such contributions in the upcoming years.

I hope that this event will encourage other private sector companies and individuals to help KRG rebuild Kurdistan, build more schools, and enhance human capacity building. Such contributions would be a source of pride for themselves, the people of Kurdistan, and the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Once again, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to UB Holding group, Mr. Khalil Nazir, Abdulhadi Nazir, their father and brothers. I wish them continued success. I hope all of us can play our share in the reconstruction and development of Kurdistan, a nation that was built by the blood of our fathers and is now being protected by the sacrifices of our brave Peshmergas.

Salute to the souls of our Martyrs, long live our brave Peshmergas.

Thank you.

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The Netherlands will continue its support to the Kurdistan Region

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday received a delegation of The Netherland’s Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee headed by Committee Chairperson Ms. Angeline Eijsink, along with representatives of political parties at the Dutch Parliament.

The delegation praised the people, government, and the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region, who, under very difficult circumstances, have been combating the Islamic State terrorist organization, ISIS, and preserving religious and ethnic diversity, which, they described, as a successful model for the Middle East.

They also discussed the current financial crisis and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s reform and austerity measures.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the Dutch Government for their contribution to military and humanitarian efforts, and expressed hope that the international community will raise the level of its aid to the Kurdistan Region.

He informed the delegation about the measures being taken by the KRG to deal with the financial crisis, stressing that the cooperation of friendly countries is very much needed.

Regarding relations with Baghdad, Prime Minister Barzani said that although Iraqi Kurdistan has played an effective role since 2003, the complicated political situation in Iraq has, unfortunately, exposed a number of problems. However, he said, in spite of this the Kurdistan Region will continue its efforts to improve relations with Baghdad and neighboring countries, and enhance its international relations.

Regarding the anticipated referendum for independence, Prime Minister Barzani said that the issue of independence is a legitimate and natural right of the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. He said, however, it is an issue that should be discussed and resolved with Baghdad through dialogue and mutual understanding.

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President Barzani Welcomes Vice President Biden in Erbil‏

Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, (Krp.org)- President Masoud Barzani received a United States government delegation headed by Vice President Joseph Biden and included a number of State and Defense Department officials. President Barzani and Vice President Biden began their meeting by discussing the current and upcoming military operations against the terrorists of the Islamic State.

President Barzani also expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the people of the Kurdistan Region to the people and government of the United States for their support to Iraq and to the Kurdistan Region, adding that that support has indeed tremendously strengthened the process of ridding the region of the cruelty of the terrorists of the Islamic State.

President Barzani used the opportunity to reiterate his position on the Mosul issue and how the planning for post-liberation is of equal importance to that of the military operation. He stated that the people of Mosul have suffered a lot under the brutality of the terrorists of the Islamic State in the past two years and there must be some well studied and agreed-upon planning for the management of the city after the liberation.

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Prime Minister Barzani: Private sector expansion is a priority

Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani says expansion of private sector in Kurdistan Region is a priority of his government.

Prime Minister Barzani says as a part of KRG’s reform package, he has signed nearly 30 orders, including an order to transfer the majority of services currently provided by the public sector, to the private sector.

Mr. Barzani made the remarks during a speech at the signing ceremony of a contract between the International Finance Corporation and Mass Global, a leading firm of Kurdistan Region’s private sector.

According to the contract, IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group, will provide funds to expand Sulaymaniyah power plant.

Prime Minister Barzani stated that his government is collaborating with the private sector in order to find a permanent solution to power shortages in Kurdistan Region.

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, a number of KRG ministers and business leaders attended the ceremony.