Monday, 05 October 2015 07:00

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani welcomed Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó today.  In a meeting between the two held in the city of Duhok, the President and the Hungarian Foreign Minister discussed the plight of internally displaced people and refuges in Kurdistan, and migrants and refugees heading to Europe from the region. The also discussed the efforts to defeat ISIS terrorists, and Hungarian contribution to this campaign. 

The Hungarian Foreign Minister reiterated his country’s support to Kurdistan peshmerga forces with providing military assistance and training. 

President Barzani thanked Hungary for its support to the peshmerga forces. On the refugee and migrant crisis, the President said that the root causes of this issue must be addressed. He said the threat of terrorism and economic challenges are two of the main causes forcing people to leave their countries. 

On the fight against ISIS, President Barzani said the bulk of this fighting on the ground is on the shoulders of the peshmerga forces, adding that the world has yet to face this threat in a serious way. 

Wednesday, 07 October 2015 03:30

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani welcomed Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó today.  In a meeting between the two held in the city of Duhok, the President and the Hungarian Foreign Minister discussed the plight of internally displaced people and refuges in Kurdistan, and migrants and refugees heading to Europe from the region. The also discussed the efforts to defeat ISIS terrorists, and Hungarian contribution to this campaign. 

The Hungarian Foreign Minister reiterated his country’s support to Kurdistan peshmerga forces with providing military assistance and training. 

President Barzani thanked Hungary for its support to the peshmerga forces. On the refugee and migrant crisis, the President said that the root causes of this issue must be addressed. He said the threat of terrorism and economic challenges are two of the main causes forcing people to leave their countries. 

On the fight against ISIS, President Barzani said the bulk of this fighting on the ground is on the shoulders of the peshmerga forces, adding that the world has yet to face this threat in a serious way. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 03:30

A displaced Kurdish Yezidi family in Khanki camp in Duhok Governorate.

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, (gov.krd) - Iraq’s non-membership in the International Criminal Court hinders the efforts to internationally recognise the crimes committed by the Islamic State terrorist organization, ISIS, against the civilian population in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, as genocide.

The Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG’s Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, Mahmoud Haji Salih, who is also the head of the KRG Committee on International Recognition of ISIS’s Crimes as Genocide, particularly those committed against religious and ethnic groups, reaffirmed this fact. He said, “So far Iraq is not ready to become member in ICC, therefore the legal procedures for the genocide recognition is passing through a difficult path”.

In an interview with KRG website, Minister Salih said, “The main condition for internationally trying the terrorist organization, ISIS, for genocide against Yazidi Kurds and other religious groups, is Iraq’s membership in the International Criminal Court. However, following our committee’s discussions with three Iraqi ambassadors in European countries, we got to the conclusion that Iraq is not ready to become member in ICC”.

He added that Baghdad’s stance on this issue “hinders even local efforts to set up relevant courts in Iraq or Kurdistan Region, since there is no article in the Iraqi laws that refer to genocide. The only solution is to convince the Iraqi government to treat this case individually and approve it with the International Criminal Court so that it investigates the case. For this, great deal of efforts needs to be exerted by the officials representing Kurdistan Region in the Federal Government in Baghdad”, Minister Salih told KRG website.

Following the capture of the city of Mosul and its surrounding areas in June last year, ISIS led mass-killing campaigns against the Yazidi Kurds and other religious groups living in those areas. The Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs established a centre in the city of Duhok in charge of investigating and collecting evidences of ISIS crimes. The centre has so far documented more than 300 cases, 65 of which are ready to be submitted to the International Criminal Court.

Minister Salih elaborated that the reason why Iraq is not eager to become a member at the International Criminal Court is because its membership entails great deal of responsibilities that Iraq may not be able to shoulder. He added that “if the current efforts did not succeed in recognizing the genocide against the victims of ISIS, then perhaps the UN Security Council can issue a resolution about it or a special tribunal to be established similar to the one established for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.”

He also said that the committee he heads plans to send a delegation to Baghdad to consult with the presidencies of the Republic, Parliament, Prime Minister, Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Justice to further discuss this issue.

Minister Salih also criticised those parties and individuals who have been trying, for political reasons, to separate Yazidis form Kurds, speculating that the Yazidis are not Kurds but a different ethnic group.

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 30 October 2014 03:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (krg.org) – The Kurdistan Region Government's Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, received on Tuesday Mr. Dionysios Kivitos, Ambassador of Greece to Iraq, on his first visit to the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani and Ambassador Kivitos discussed the military and security situation in Iraq and the importance of the international coalition in confronting terrorism. They also highlighted the role of Kurdistan Regional Government Peshmerga forces in the war against terror.

Also discussed was the Kurdistan Region being the primary haven in Iraq for internally displaced persons, IDPs, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds, including Arab Sunnis from Anbar Governorate. The Region is host to over 1.4 million IDPs and Syrian refugees. 

Recent rains and lower temperatures have made life even more difficult for displaced people in many locations where winterized shelter remains inadequate. Despite generous support from many sources, immediate requirements have yet to be fully met.

Ambassador Kivitos highlighted his tour to Duhok Governorate where he visited IDPs and refugees. He noted the Government of Greece’s humanitarian assistance through the EU and other organizations of the international community, and reaffirmed his government’s continuing support. Prime Minister Barzani conveyed the gratitude of the people of the Kurdistan Region and the KRG for Greece’s important generosity.

Greek investment in the Kurdistan Region was also discussed in the meeting. Prime Minister Barzani and Ambassador Kivitos affirmed their mutual intention to strengthen commercial relations between the two sides.

Ambassador Kivitos pointed out that it would no longer be necessary for people in the Kurdistan Region to visit the Embassy of Greece in Baghdad to obtain Greek and Schengen visas. He also informed that in the near future a Greek airline would offer direct flights between Greece and Erbil.

Thursday, 23 October 2014 07:00

Under the auspices of Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, Syrian Kurds agreed today to jointly run the Kurdish areas in Syria, with joint leadership council and a unified military force.

Following this announcement in a meeting in the city of Duhok, President Barzani congratulated the people of Kurdistan and the people of Syrian Kurdistan in particular, on this historic achievement. The President reiterated Kurdistan Region’s continued support and backing to the Kurdish people in Syria.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 14 September 2014 22:30

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – The Kurdistan Regional Government urges the participants of tomorrow’s international conference held in Paris, which focuses on Iraq’s security, the incidents in Sinjar, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, to seriously address the situation of the displaced and assist in providing aid to the great number of internally displaced Iraqis, in addition to discussing political and military matters.

The KRG calls upon Arab states to fulfill their humanitarian duties in aiding the displaced, the majority of whom are Yezidi Kurds, Christians, and Sunni Arabs from the Ninevah plains.

The KRG calls upon the international community to come forward and help the KRG in providing necessary aid to the displaced people that fled the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist attacks on Sinjar and the Ninevah plains and are taking refuge in the Kurdistan Region in general and Duhok province in particular. This is especially important because the winter season will soon begin.

The KRG plea for action comes from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, composed of ministers and other officials, after discussion regarding the humanitarian situation of the displaced people from Sinjar and the Ninevah plains in order to follow-up their needs and resolve related issues. Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani chaired the meeting.

A field report regarding the humanitarian situation of the displaced was presented during the meeting. It focused on educational issues and the schools in the Duhok province currently sheltering the displaced families. In the meeting, it was decided to begin building camps in order to vacate the schools so that the academic year could begin. It was also decided that the Duhok Governor's office and related provincial institutions should be supported to enable them to overcome shortcomings. A similar meeting will soon take place in Duhok to carefully analyse the situation with related officials and institutions and to consider their views.

In the meeting it was also decided that relevant KRG institutions should fully coordinate and follow-up with international organisations. In addition, a KRG delegation will visit Baghdad and meet with federal authorities about the situation of displaced people, because the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding is beyond the capacity of the Kurdistan Region. The Iraqi Government should therefore fulfill its legal and constitutional duty.

Finally the KRG extended its commendation and gratitude to the people of Kurdistan, and especially the people of the Duhok governorate, for all the aid and support they have been providing to the displaced from the earliest days of the crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, 17 August 2014 09:00

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Wednesday met the Governor of Duhok and administrative officials from the province to follow-up the situation of displaced people arriving from Sinjar, the Ninevah plains, and other areas.

The Governor of Duhok presented a summary of the situation of the internally displaced people (IDPs), most of whom are Yezidis, Christians, and members of other ethnic and religious minority communities from Sinjar and the Ninevah plains. The Governor noted that authorities and citizens in Duhok have done everything possible to assist the IDPs, but because of the vast number of displaced people, much more humanitarian aid is needed.

The Minister of Finance and Economy said that thus far only the KRG had shouldered the expenditures for assisting the displaced families, along with aid provided by the people of Kurdistan. He said that no other party had yet provided financial support. The Minister suggested that the situation would be dealt with as an exceptional circumstance in terms of regular financial guidelines, adding that the $15 million allocated by the Prime Minister had already reached the Duhok governorate.

Prime Minister Barzani emphasised that the KRG will continue to mobilise all efforts to support IDPs. He decided to allocate another $10 million in aid, in addition to the previous $15 million, to support the displaced people.

The Prime Minister pointed to the importance of meeting basic needs in the initial phases, to be followed by the provision of necessary services in camps to be built in some areas of the city. He conveyed his government’s gratitude for all the support and aid provided to the victims by the people of the Kurdistan Region and Kurds everywhere. He said that these loyal, patriotic, and humanitarian gestures are worthy of commendation.

The Minister of Planning presented a summary of the KRG’s coordinated efforts with international organisations assisting the government in providing aid to the IDPs. He said that the scale of the crisis has prompted many international humanitarian organisations to come to Kurdistan to help the displaced.

Prime Minister Barzani discussed the latest developments and highlighted the fact that the KRG has substantial international support. He stressed that the Peshmerga forces will defeat the terrorists and prevail with the arrival of required weapons and ammunition. However, the legacy of the barbaric acts committed by the terrorists will remain in the hearts of the victims of these areas and of the people of Kurdistan. Time, sensitivity, patience, and treatment are required in order to recover.

 

 

 

 

Monday, 18 August 2014 09:00

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday chaired the KRG Council of Minister’s customary weekly meeting to discuss the current situation in the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani summarised the events that have taken place over the last two weeks, including the terrorist attacks. He highlighted the situation in Sinjar and the status of displaced Yezidis and Christians, explaining that he has been closely following the KRG response in the Duhok governorate. He indicated that this is a humanitarian crisis and requires international aid and support.

Acts committed against Yezidi Kurds constitute genocide

The Prime Minister emphasised that the crimes committed against the Yezidis by the terrorists constitute genocide by every measure, and these acts are the worst crimes perpetrated against the people of Kurdistan since the Halabja attack and the Anfal campaign. The KRG therefore requests that the Iraqi Council of Representatives formally recognizes the acts committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) against the Yezidi Kurds as genocide and treats the situation accordingly.

International and domestic support

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his gratitude to the United States of America, President Barack Obama, and European countries that responded to the situation and supported the Kurdistan Region. He reiterated that the KRG is receiving full support, as the Region is at the forefront of the world’s fight against terrorism. He added that the whole world must fight this battle together, and that the terrorists should be eliminated from Kurdistan, Iraq, and the wider region.

The Prime Minister thanked the people of Kurdistan, particularly the people of Duhok and Syrian Kurdish refugees residing in the Kurdistan Region. Despite being victims themselves, they have collected aid and provided support from the first day to assist the displaced people from Sinjar. He urged relevant ministries to assume responsibility for that which is required to assist the displaced. He also thanked the Ministry of Natural Resources for quickly making available the financial support to help relevant government bodies as they assist the displaced.

Peshmerga make steady gains, defense sector to be reformed

Prime Minister Barzani also pointed out that substantive military reform is underway. On the front, the Peshmerga forces are advancing in all locations. He said, “The horizon is bright, and what has happened will prompt us to review our shortcomings and mistakes and pay particular importance to defense sector reform.”

The Minister of Peshmerga Affairs explained that Peshmerga forces and other elements of the security apparatus are confronting the terrorists along the Kurdistan Region border, inflicting severe damage upon the terrorists. He highlighted that the absence of a national and professionally trained force in the Kurdistan Region is a weakness among the Peshmerga forces that must be solved. He also explained that plans to retake all of the locations overtaken by terrorists are currently under study. International support and the arrival of weapons from the United States and Europe continue, and the weapons will be distributed among the Peshmerga forces at the battlefronts based on a plan and according to their requirements.

KRG requires financial assistance to provide basic needs to displaced

The Minister of Finance and Economy requested special budget allocation and flexibility regarding the regular financial guidelines in order to provide urgent necessities to the displaced. He indicated that the humanitarian situation in the Duhok governorate is beyond the capacity of governorate and KRG officials and resources. Despite the difficult economic circumstances facing the Kurdistan Region, the Duhok governorate and local organisations quickly came to the aid of the displaced people, a gesture worthy of commendation. He reiterated that so far government bodies have not received any financial assistance. The necessities are so vast that the KRG should be provided with financial aid in order to support the internally displaced and refugees, he said.

Logistic, health, and educational considerations for the displaced

The Minister of Planning summarised the number and location of IDPs and refugees, indicating that most are in the Duhok governorate. He explained that there are more than 600,000 IDPs and refugees in the province, and 275,000 require immediate accommodation. There is now a census to register the number of displaced people and refugees caused by the recent events in order to issue identity cards and determine their locations and basic needs. The exact numbers remain unclear because they are scattered and reside in different locations because there are not enough camps to accommodate them.

The Minister of Health stated that there are currently no epidemic diseases among IDPs or refugees, but he fears such a situation could arise. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the health of the displaced and assure the provision of clean drinking water. He noted that the federal government is helping the KRG to provide medicine. Pharmaceutical companies are also helping the Ministry by loaning medicine.

The Minister of Education reiterated that accommodation should be provided to the displaced as soon as possible. If the schools currently accommodate them are not cleared before the beginning of the forthcoming academic year, approximately 500,000 students will be affected.

KRG presents highest honor to helicopter pilot al-Tamimi

The Council of Ministers expressed its condolences to the family of helicopter pilot Majid Abdulsalam al-Tamimi, who died in the helicopter crash while rescuing Yezidi civilians and delivering aid on Mount Sinjar. The Council declared that he is to be considered a martyr in the Kurdistan Region, and a statue will be dedicated to him in a public place in Kurdistan to ensure the memory of his actions. A formal letter of condolence will be sent to his family on behalf of the KRG.

Council of Ministers decisions

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani suggested the establishment of a special body to deal with emergencies, and the Council of Ministers decided to form a committee to study the establishment of such a body. It was decided to conduct a census to determine the exact number of IDPs and refugees and provide them with accommodation as soon as possible. The KRG will work with the relevant United Nations agencies in this regard.

The Council of Ministers decided to form a government committee to gather and document photos, video footage, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence in order to register legal action in international courts and assure that ISIS actions in Sinjar and surrounding areas are recognised as genocide. This would be applicable in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and at an international level.

The Council of Ministers applauded the unanimous United Nations Security Council resolution designed to disarm ISIS terrorists and its call to the international community to provide international aerial protection in Sinjar and surrounding areas to protect ethnic and religious minorities facing persecution by the terrorists.

Finally, the Council of Ministers congratulated Prime Minister designate Haider al-Abadi upon his nomination to form a new Iraqi government, expressing hope that this step can help to settle outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad.

 

 

 

 

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