Tuesday, 23 December 2014 07:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, (KRG.org) - The Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, received Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and her accompanying delegation at Erbil International Airport upon her arrival yesterday.

In a meeting between the two sides, Ms. Mogherini congratulated the people of Kurdistan and the Peshmerga forces for the victories they have achieved in Sinjar area.

She said that during her visit to Baghdad, she had also congratulated the Iraqi President and Iraqi Prime Minister on the occasion of these victories. She stated that the victories of the Peshmerga in Sinjar areas are important both for the moral of the Peshmerga forces and that of the international community.

Both sides discussed the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, also known as ISIS, and stressed that it poses a threat to humanity and that it is essential to confront it in all its forms.

Prime Minister Barzani pointed out that the fight against ISIS could not be achieved only by military means. It should also be tackled both intellectually and ideologically, he said.

The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the international coalition and its support, both humanitarian and military, provided to the Kurdistan Region. He also praised the vital role played by the coalition air force in supporting the Peshmerga forces.

Whilst the Prime Minister thanked Ms. Mogherini for European Union’s support, he asserted that the Peshmerga forces need further military assistance, particularly heavy weapons and military training.

In this regard, present at the meeting, the KRG Minister of Peshmerga Affairs, Mustafa Sayid Qadir highlighted the latest military developments in the war against ISIS and the needs and requirements of the Peshmerga forces.

Ms Mogherini emphasized that their efforts will continue to ensure that the Peshmerga are supported and assisted in all respects.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the plight of over 1.5 million displaced people and refugees, who fled ISIS violence and took refuge in Kurdistan Region. He called on the European Union to intensify its efforts to encourage members of the Union and the international community to be more active in regards to the plight of the displaced persons and their dire need for further assistance. He also called on the Federal Government of Iraq to provide further assistance in order to alleviate their suffering.

The two sides also discussed the recent agreement concluded early this month between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq on oil export and budgetary issues, Kurdistan relations with its neighbours and the repercussions of the war on terrorism in the region.

Saturday, 20 December 2014 07:00

Ankara, Turkey, (KRG.org) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, in his new presidential palace, Aksaray, on Friday.

The two sides discussed the situation in Iraq and the region, the latest developments in the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, known as ISIS, and the recent advances marked by the Peshmerga forces in Sinjar and Zummar frontline.

The Turkish President expressed his satisfaction with the recent victories by the Peshmerga forces.

The agreement, which was reached early December between Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government of Iraq, was another topic discussed in the meeting.

President Erdogan lauded both sides for the breakthrough agreement for which he expressed his support. He wished the agreement could pave the way to resolve the rest of the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad.

Prime Minister Barzani and President Erdogan also discussed bilateral relations between Erbil and Ankara. They emphasised on developing and broadening these relations, particularly in domains that are of interest for both sides.

Friday, 19 December 2014 07:00

Istanbul, Turkey, (KRG.org) - Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, today received Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, in Istanbul.

The two sides discussed the breakthrough agreement, reached earlier this month between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq. Mr. Davutoğlu praised both Erbil and Baghdad for reaching agreement, hoping that it would lead to resolving other outstanding issues between the two sides.

Regional political and military developments, the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, known as ISIS, and the recent Peshmerga forces advances in Zummar and areas around Sinjar were topics also discussed in the meeting.

The two sides also highlighted bilateral relations and stressed on further developing these ties and agreed to continue exchanging visits and meetings between both sides.  

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani is due to meet the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later this afternoon.

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 Region – Iraq 

August 14, 2014

The European Union.

Kurdistan Region has been an outstanding model of stability, democracy and peaceful coexistence in Iraq during the last decade. Kurdistan has been a safe haven for all Iraqi components such as, Arabs, Turkomen, Christians, and others. Since 2006, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi internally displaced people have taken shelter in Kurdistan fleeing violence and bloodshed in the other parts of Iraq. 

Currently, this safe haven is under a serious danger by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). Last week, the ISIS militants launched a wide spread attack against the Kurdistan Region territories, especially in Sinjar, which is dominantly inhabited by Yazidis and areas to the east and north part of the city of Mosul, which have been the homeland of Christians for thousands of years. The recent ISIS aggression on the Kurdistan Region resulted in the killing of hundreds of people and displacement of around one million people. 

Despite facing serious humanitarian and security challenges, the Iraqi government has only played a very limited role in supporting the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and alleviating the suffering of the refugees and IDPs. Thus, the KRG is under huge humanitarian and security pressure. The KRG is doing whatever it can to provide humanitarian relief for the refugees and IDPs and at the same time the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are fighting ISIS militants on behalf of the world. While we appreciate the support we have received from our friends and allies, we call upon international community to provide further humanitarian and military assistance. 

The Kurdistan Region Government respectfully requests the members of the European Union to urgently come forward and offer humanitarian aids to the IDPs who have taken refuge in the Kurdistan region. It is worth mentioning that the displaced people are suffering severely due to the lack of shelter, food and other basic needs. Urgent aids are needed to save lives of thousands of people. We also call upon the members of the EU to provide the peshmarga forces with necessary arms to deter ISIS offences and protect civilians and displaced people. The Kurdish forces are in an asymmetrical warfare against an organized and well-armed terrorist group. With no doubt, rapid equipment of Peshmarga forces with heavy and sophisticated weapons will change the equation in the battlefield in favor of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. 

We hope that the members of the European Union will urgently and positively respond to our request. 

Sincerely, 

Fuad Hussein 
Chief of Staff
Kurdistan Region Presidency

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014 09:00

(courtesy AFP)

Financial Times

Peshmerga forces are fighting for the world and must be armed now, writes Bayan Rahman

Sinjar, a Kurdish border area that has seen more prosperous times as a trading and farming hub famed for its figs, olives and Syrian-influenced cuisine, is suddenly on the world map as a genocide unfolds before our eyes.

As a Kurd whose family comes from Sinjar, I find it wrenching to see the suffering of our people as yet another genocide is committed against us. We had thought the dark days were behind us as we rebuilt the 4,000 villages, and the physical and social infrastructure, that were destroyed by Saddam Hussein.

Kurdistan has a tradition of peaceful coexistence, with Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, Kurds and Arabs all living side by side. The first school my Muslim mother attended in Sinjar was run by Christian nuns. Religious festivals, she told me, were always celebrated by neighbours of different faiths, too...

Because of copyright regulations, KRG.org cannot reprint the entire article. To access this article, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 07 August 2014 18:00

Washington Post Editorial Board

A NEW humanitarian and security crisis has erupted in northern Iraq, where the al-Qaeda-derived Islamic State borders territories controlled by Iraqi and Syrian Kurds. Since last weekend, tens of thousands of civilians have been trapped on a mountainside near the Iraqi town of Sinjar, which was captured by Islamic State fighters. The refugees, including an estimated 25,000 children, lack supplies of food and water and could perish in a matter of days unless a relief corridor is opened, according to the United Nations. Meanwhile, the extremist forces are threatening to capture Iraq’s two largest dams and are pressing toward Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Both the potential human cost and the threat to U.S. interests are vastly greater than in the Gaza Strip, which has consumed the attention of Secretary of State John F. Kerry and senior White House officials in recent weeks. An Iraqi minority group concentrated in the contested area, the Yazidis, is facing nothing less than genocide at the hands of the Islamic State, which considers the sect heretical. Meanwhile, the strongest and most reliable U.S. ally remaining in the region, the Kurdistan government, is struggling to hold the line against Islamic State forces.

The Obama administration’s response to this emergency, however, has been listless. U.S. officials have reportedly authorized the direct supply of munitions to Kurdish forces, which have been attempting to retake Sinjar, and have coordinated attacks by the Iraqi air force against Islamic State targets. It has also pushed the Iraqi government to carry out a humanitarian air drop in the area where the Yazidi refugees are stranded, though the operation achieved only limited results, according to a report by The Post’s Loveday Morris.

Kurdish forces still suffer from the warped and outdated U.S. policy toward Iraq, which prioritizes maintaining a strong central government in Baghdad over aiding the secular, democratic and pro-Western Kurds. A Kurdish delegation that visited Washington last month seeking direct military aid to fight the Islamic State was rebuffed. Administration officials contend they cannot act without the consent and cooperation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, even though his sectarian policies are largely responsible for returning the country to civil war.

President Obama dispatched some 800 U.S. personnel to Iraq earlier this summer in order to evaluate the Islamic State threat, protect the U.S. embassy and coordinate assistance. But the administration has refrained from major new aid initiatives or U.S. military action, saying that it first wants to see the formation of a broadly representative Iraqi government. That goal may not be achievable in the near future, or ever; meanwhile, the extremist Islamist forces continue to advance, both in Iraq and Syria.

Mr. Obama is right to deny new support to the Iraqi government as long as the toxic Mr. Maliki remains in office. But it can and should act immediately to address the humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq and to further support Kurdish forces, which face the Islamic state along a 600-mile border. If the Iraqi airlift of supplies to the stranded Yazidis is ineffective, the United States should consider other action to save the refugees. It also should supply Kurds with the heavy weapons they have requested and, if necessary, use U.S. air power to stop the Islamic State forces from advancing further.

 

 

 

 

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