Monday, 21 March 2016 04:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( - Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday received Lebanese Minister of Tourism  Michel Pharaon and his accompanying delegation.

The delegation visited the Kurdistan Region to attend the International Tourism Conference held last weekend in Erbil.

Referring to the tourism potential of the Kurdistan Region, Minister Pharaon explained the Lebanese tourism sector and noted those areas where Lebanon could help the Kurdistan Region with expertise.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed hope that Lebanon’s long and successful experience, as well as expertise, will help the Kurdistan Region’s tourism sector.

Mr. Pharaon expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Kurdistan Regional Government for welcoming the Lebanese community. 

The two sides also discussed the war against ISIS and its impact throughout the Region.


Saturday, 19 March 2016 04:30

The  text of the  speech of Nechirvan Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region in the opening ceremony of the International Tourism Conference in Erbil:

Ladies and gentlemen,
Dears Minister of Tourism of the Lebanese Republic and Minister of Culture of the Republic of Iraq,
Representatives of International, regional, and Iraqi tourism agencies and companies,

I welcome you all to this event; it’s our pleasure to host you today in the capital of the Kurdistan Region in an international conference of tourism. Participation of officials and representatives of 27 tourism companies across the world, especially at this particular time of The war against terrorism, and financial challenges, is not only a prestigious event for our tourism sector but also a show of solidarity and support and a repose for the Kurdistan Region.



I hope the presence of such a large number of international tourism companies in this conference will help us to revive tourism sector in Kurdistan Region in a way that it becomes another source of revenue for the region, a bridge with the world to open other doors, a tourist destination for international tourists visiting the Middle East.

With its natural beauty, breathtaking scenery, undiscovered mountains, ancient and historical sites, the Kurdistan Region has a great potential to become a major tourism destination in the wider region.

The welcoming attitude and warm hospitality of the people of Kurdistan Region is another important factor that could help develop tourism sector in our region. This welcoming attitude, which is one of the characteristics of the people of Kurdistan, gives a positive first impression to all foreign tourists at airports or border points upon their entry to our region. Hope to stay like that steadily.   

Dear guests,
The Kurdistan Regional Government has done its best to build tourism infrastructure, to secure the safety of tourists, and to attract international tourists to the Kurdistan Region. In order to further develop our tourism sector, the KRG has encouraged the private sector to invest in tourism projects and we will continue to do so. Since the establishment of the KRG Board of Investment in 2007, more than 6 billion USD have been invested in the tourism sector.

Despite of having the basic elements of a  tourism, it is unfortunate that due to our limited resources we have to give priority to the sectors that have direct impacts on the lives of our citizens. As a result, we have not been able to support tourism sector to the extent that we had planned. On the other hand, freezing of the KRG’s share of the federal budget ,the financial crises and war against terror challenges facing our region have had an adverse impact on all sectors including the tourism sector during the last two years. We are confident that once we overcome the current challenges, tourism sector will revive again and we will be able to further promote tourism in the Kurdistan Region.

When we look at the statistics between   2007 to 2016, we see great progress in our tourism sector. For instance, in 2007 we only had 105 hotels, while the number in 2016 has risen to 620 hotels. The number of restaurants for the same given years has increased from 129 to 764. Also during those years the number of tourists entering the Kurdistan Region increased from 377,000 to nearly three million. Most of the tourists come from the middle and south of Iraq, Iran and to a lesser extent from the regional and international countries.

The KRG has a comprehensive plan for the development of tourism sector. Our strategy is to focus on developing the sectors of agriculture, industry, and tourism to become the main source of our economy instead of oil and natural gas, with  the establishment of a solid infrastructure for those sectors , we would be able to reduce our dependency on the oil and gas sector.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Achieving a world-class tourism sector does not only require building five star hotels, restaurants and tourism projects but also a culture of tourism and exceptional services. In that regard, Kurdistan Region has a great potential as the people of the region enjoy tourism, which will make our job of promoting culture of tourism and attracting international tourists much easier, the social environment of Kurdistan Region for tourism and hosting foreign tourists is helpful and promising .

Even though, a much mature tourism culture is required ,the KRG and its relevant institutions should work seriously, in a scientific way, to further promote and consolidate culture of tourism in the Kurdistan Region. The local media can also play an active role in that regard. I hope that this subject will be discussed during the discussion of this conference to explore ways and means of advancing culture of tourism in our region.

I would like to seize this opportunity to encourage local and foreign investors to play an active role in reviving our tourism sector through investing in tourism projects. I urge them to take advantage of Kurdistan’s undiscovered mountains, plains, and rivers to build appropriate tourism project on this four season suitable land for tourism. The KRG is ready to fully support and facilitate the implementation of such kind of projects.

Tourism is an important sector for Kurdistan Region. I have instructed the KRG Ministry of Municipality, Board of Tourism and other relevant authorities to undertake necessary measures to further promote tourism so that it becomes a source of revenue for our region.

Dear guests,

Please allow me to salute the martyrs of Kurdistan who sacrificed their lives defending our land and freedom. I commend our brave peshmerga forces who are in the frontlines fighting the most brutal terrorist organization so that we can live in peace and continue building our nation. The resilience of our Peshmerga forces makes it possible for the people of Kurdistan Region to celebrate Newruz like every other year.

Once again I would like to welcome you all. I wish the conference success. I thank the Ministry of Municipality and Board of Tourism for organizing this important gathering. I wish the participants a productive conference and I hope their presence here today will pave the way for further collaboration in the future so that we will continue to work together to turn Kurdistan into a major tourist destination.

Thank you all





Thursday, 17 March 2016 08:00

Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( - On the sidelines of the annual Sulaimani Forum, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received Ambassador Ilya Morgunov, Russian Federation ambassador to Iraq and his accompanying delegation, which included the Russian Consul General to the Kurdistan Region and a number of Russian officials.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in the war against terrorism in Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria and the possible repercussions of the war on the entire region.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the Russian Federation for the military aid provided very recently to the Kurdistan Region, and reiterated Kurdistan Region’s desire to develop its relations with the Russian Federation. He stressed that in order to eliminate the Islamic State terrorist organization, ISIS, the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga Forces continuously need the support of the international community.

The two sides also discussed the relations between Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government of Iraq, highlighting the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad. In this regard, Prime Minister Barzani reiterated that the Kurdistan Region has still the desire to settle all the problems and differences through dialogue and mutual understanding.

Meantime, Prime Minister Barzani stressed that a new form of relations between Erbil and Baghdad should be found as all previous forms have failed.

On his side, the Russian ambassador expressed his satisfaction with his meeting with Prime Minister Barzani, reiterating his country's readiness to support the Kurdistan Region in the war against ISIS.


Tuesday, 03 November 2015 03:30

The Prime Minister of KRG of Iraq, stating the constructive of role of Iran in solving regional and Kurdistan crises as effective, said: Iran tried to get all interior groups of Kurdistan together.

According to the report of Mehr reporter, Nechirvan Barezani the prime Minister of KRG of Iraq in the primary meeting of CGM held in studies office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran, among reporters while stating that there are political disputes in Kurdistan Region and luckily these disputes have not grown said: these disputes can be solved through talking and we also aim to agree with all groups specially patriotic unity and we hope to reach a conclusion.

In a reply to a question about the role of Iran to fight terrorism he answered: the role of Iran was effective in two stages to solve the crises in the region. At first stage when ISIS attacked Kurdistan of Iraq, Iran was one of those countries helping us. After that also the role of Iran was constructive in Kurdistan political changes. Barezani added: the role of Iran in Kurdistan was constructive for it could get closer the interior groups of Kurdistan together.

He went on: we consider any changes aiming to destroy ISIS in the region positive. So we think in Syria changes cannot be military, concerns should be solves through a political process.

The P.M of KRG insisted: we think if any measure is taken to weaken terrorist in the region, it will be welcomed by us. If this quadruple correlation is going to collapse terrorist and ISIS, it will definitely be deemed as positive act in our view.

According to the report by foreign political reporter of ISNA News Agency Nechiravan Barezani presented in primary meetings of Munich Security Conference and said: political quarrels in Kurdistan Region occur, however, we are glad to say that it has lead no more quarrels and it can be solved. He added: we are negotiating with political groups, especially patriotic union and hope to reach an agreement.

The P.M of Kurdistan Region of Iraq in a response to question concerning the opening on the behalf of some in Kurdistan Region about Iran’s negative role answered: in my view it was absolutely wrong and Iran’s role at the time ISIS’a attack was so positive and Iran was one of those countries rushed to help us and we have always been witnessing Iran’s constructive role.



Thursday, 15 October 2015 03:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( - Following an official invitation to attend the Munich Security Conference, MSC, which will be held in Tehran, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, will visit Tehran on 17 October.

The gathering will be co-hosted with the Institute for Political and International Studies, and held in cooperation with the governments of Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It will be held as part of MSC Core Group Meeting series, which will focus on “the implementation of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, Iran's regional role, the security architecture in the Middle East as well as the economic and energy policy implications of the Vienna agreement”, Munich Security Conference website stated.

Besides German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Zarif, “participants also include the Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, the Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Idris Barzani, the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid, the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly Élisabeth Guigou and the Chairman of the German Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee Norbert Röttgen, as well as governmental representatives from various Arab states, numerous parliamentarians from European countries and NGO representatives”, said MSC website.

In a statement to Kurdistan Regional Government website, Sami Ergoushi, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister’s press officer said, “It is expected that Prime Minister Barzani will meet, during his visit, a number of officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”



Thursday, 01 October 2015 03:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (,krd) - Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday welcomed South Korean Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Jang Won-Jo.  Both expressed interest in furthering good relations.

Ambassador Jang commended the Kurdistan Region's people and government for accommodating and helping hundreds of thousands of displaced people despite severe financial constraints.

He also praised the role of Peshmerga forces for their effectiveness in fighting terrorism and providing security.

A primary purpose of this visit was to deliver humanitarian assistance for displaced people. 

Prime Minister Barzani and Ambassador Jang also discussed the security situation and relations with Baghdad. 

Thursday, 01 October 2015 03:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received United Kingdom Minister of State for International Development, Mr. Desmond Angus Swayne and his accompanying delegation.

Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani, Minister of Interior Karim Sinjari, and Chaldean Archbishop, Bashar Warda were also in attendance.

Minister Swayne expressed appreciation to the Kurdistan Region’s people and government for accommodating and assisting hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the midst of a financial crisis and active fight against terrorism.

He discussed efforts to provide additional assistance in health and education. He reaffirmed the UK Government’s interest in furthering relations with the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his government's gratitude for the assistance the UK has been offering the Kurdistan Region. He welcomed further development of relations with the UK, including economic ties, and stressed the urgent need for additional assistance from the international community.

He explained the Region’s response in accomodating displaced people seeking refuge in Kurdistan Region, the war situation against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS and the effectiveness of Peshmerga forces, as well as the financial crisis due to the failure of Baghdad to provide Kurdistan Region's full share from the federal budget as agreed with Erbil.

Monday, 28 September 2015 10:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( - Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received Hussain al-Shahristani, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Federal Government of Iraq.

The two sides discussed the current political, military and security situation in Iraq, as well as the economic and financial situation in the country. They also discussed the relations between Erbil and Baghdad, and ways to address the outstanding problems.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Dr Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff of Kurdistan Region President, Prime Minister Barzani briefed the Iraqi Minister about the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, in the Kurdistan Region and the progress made by Peshmerga forces.

Prime Minister Barzani also talked in details about the economic situation and the financial crisis and its repercussions in the Kurdistan Region.

Mr. Hussain al-Shahristani visited Kurdistan Region, representing the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Haider al-Abadi, to attend the consecration ceremony of His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis Sliwa, the new Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, which was held in Saint Yohana Church in Ainkawa district of Erbil.

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