Kurdistan Regional

Kurdistan Regional (741)

KRG Prime Minister Meets with Former British Prime Minister

On Monday, November 20, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Their discussion focussed on the evolving political landscape in Iraq and the broader region, and the ongoing bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and Britain.

Mr. Johnson acknowledged the numerous sacrifices made by the Kurdistan Region in its quest for rights, underlining the critical need for the international community to support the Kurdish people. He expressed his deep personal connection to the Kurdistan Region, pledging his ongoing support.

Additionally, Mr. Johnson highlighted the importance of establishing direct flights between the Kurdistan Region and Britain, which would strengthen ties and facilitate travel.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the UK for its consistent support of the Kurdistan Region. He stressed the significance of honouring the Kurdistan Region’s federal status, deeming it essential for sustaining peace and stability in Iraq and the surrounding region.







MEPS Forum in Duhok Highlights Climate Change Among Key Global Challenges

On Monday, November 20, 2023, the Middle East Peace and Security Forum (MEPS) opened at the American University in Duhok (AUK), attended by the Kurdistan Region’s President, Nechirvan Barzani, Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, and numerous politicians, academics, and researchers from around the world.

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, who is also Chairman of the AUK’s Board of Trustees, inaugurated the forum with a speech emphasising the conference's timely relevance. He highlighted its focus on critical global issues such as climate change, mass migration, extremism, and sustainable management of natural resources.

The Prime Minister expressed his expectation that the forum's discussions would yield insightful and transparent perspectives, contributing to political decision-making processes.

Below is the complete transcript of Prime Minister Barzani's speech:

Welcoming Remarks By H.E. PM Masrour Barzani, Chairman of AUK’s Board of Trustees,

President of Kurdistan Region, His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani

Esteemed leaders, scholars, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning,

A very warm welcome to all of you who have assembled here for the fourth meeting of the
Middle East Peace and Security Forum, hosted by the American University of Kurdistan.

Once again, we are joined by an impressive gathering of scholars, business leaders, and decision-makers, all of whom have deep knowledge of our region and a shared commitment to navigating its many challenges. The tests we face as nations and as peoples remain profound. Each and every one of you here today will, at some point in the past year, have spent time confronting many of the issues that we will debate in coming days. And I’m sure, like me, you will at times have wished that the answers were easier than they are.

The agenda put together by the conference organisers does not shy away from a formidable array of issues faced by us all. Topics such as climate change, mass migration, extremism and its drivers, sustainability and systems of governance are all up for debate. And I would expect that some of the discussions here will inform decision making and policy choices. For that is the test of gatherings such as this - how the intellectual heft displayed here can help drive meaningful outcomes.

I am pleased by the regional participation in this conference. To our friends who have travelled from neighbouring states and beyond, I welcome you and look forward to deepening our engagements. Your presence here affirms your commitment to dialogue as a driver of understanding. Whether it be on a local, or global scale, there will never be a substitute for sitting down across a table thrashing out solutions to challenges. We must continue to meet and debate.

We must also be prepared to acknowledge that some of the issues that will be debated here are existential to us all. A rapidly warming planet will have cruel implications for our part of the world, fuelling food insecurity, water scarcity and mass migration. This is not a problem to kick down the road. It is happening now. Heatwaves are more frequent. Floods in our lands are happening more frequently, we are having to dig deeper wells to find water. Recent indications show that predictions of temperature rises in the Middle East, made not long ago, will be well short of reality. We need to do better to manage emission of carbon. We have every reason to do so, and no reason not to.

Now is not the time to avoid responsibility or to wish our problems away. We need to act in a collective good, as citizens first and foremost, but with an added global dimension. Remaining wedded to a narrow sense of who we are leaves us ill-equipped to deal with the common challenges facing us all. Kurdistan will not escape the effects of a warming Kuwait. Bahrain and Basra are linked not just by sea - but by a common climate destiny.

Our common humanity demands we confront a warming planet, as it does the scenes of war and deprivation we have witnessed over the decades and continue to witness now.

We can never allow such images to be normalised.

We have all seen heart-breaking videos showing innocent civilians, children and elderly as victims of another devastating war. These scenes must be a wakeup call. Violence on the scale we are observing is never a solution and will not bring peace but endless cycles of destruction and calamity.

We must not only condemn war and violence but find peaceful solutions to outstanding disputes and problems before escalating into military confrontation. We must not wait to solve problems while we can before losing control of events. We must accept each other’s differences and learn to live together with respect and not look for excuses to reject the other side.

We have all been horrified by the renewed violence in the Middle East. But the framing of the decade-old conflicts is also problematic. For example, for 30 years the call for a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis has been seen as a just and necessary model. Kurds have also demanded the same rights and dignities, yet our cause has often been forsaken. How do you reconcile resounding support for one just cause and deafening silence for another? It is time to do better. Intractable problems require bold responses. And, as the world looks for ways to turn the Palestinian crisis into an overdue solution, I urge a fresh approach to how we as Kurdistanis coexist with our neighbours.

Recent developments in Iraq are also concerning. Repeated violations of the Iraqi Constitution, and a lack of adherence to the agreement that led to the formation of the current government risks destabilisation, and the re-emergence of sectarianism and divisions among the major constituencies.

Should unilateral decisions continue to be imposed and government institutions continue to be controlled by one group, the feeling of injustice will only deepen. The by-products of these factors; corruption, injustice and poverty will prove fertile ingredients for a return to instability. Insurgency feeds from such conditions.

A wholistic approach to the governance of Iraq and the unfinished business of the region is well overdue.


While you are among us, I encourage you to embrace what we have to offer as Kurdistanis. Through you, I extend an invitation to the world to witness the strides we have made economically and the communities that coexist peacefully among us. We have much to show you, and we invite your participation.

As we commence this Forum, I urge you to draw upon the collective wisdom within this room. May our discussions be an impetus for innovative ideas and pragmatic solutions.

Once again, I extend a heartfelt welcome to each and every one of you to the Middle East Peace and Security Forum.

Thank you.







President Nechirvan Barzani meets with UK Chief of the Defense Staff’s Senior Middle East Advisor

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, November 22, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani today received the UK Chief of the Defense Staff’s Senior Advisor to the Middle East & North Africa, Air Marshal Martin ‘Sammy’ Sampson and his military delegation, to discuss various issues of mutual interest.

President Nechirvan Barzani and Air Marshal Sampson exchanged views on the latest developments and the potential consequences of the ongoing war in Gaza. The President emphasized that the war in Gaza poses a threat to the entire region and stressed that Iraq should avoid being drawn into the conflict, which would only exacerbate the dire and complex situation.

They also addressed the political situation in Iraq and agreed on the importance of maintaining Iraq’s political stability, peace and security. They stressed the need for all parties to act responsibly and protect the international coalition forces and diplomats in Iraq from any sort of attacks.

Turning to the threat of terrorism, both sides agreed that ISIS remains a real threat to the security and stability of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and preventing its resurgence needs the continued support of the international coalition. Air Marshal Sampson reiterated the continued commitment of the UK, as a member of the international coalition, to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

The internal situation in the Kurdistan Region was another topic of their meeting, with both viewing the recent meetings between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as a positive development.






KRG Prime Minister Meets with United Nations Delegation

On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Volker Perthes, Head of the Independent Strategic Review Team (ISRT) from the United Nations. This meeting follows the mandate of Security Council resolution 2682 (2023).

Mr. Perthes underscored the purpose of the visit, which is to evaluate the tasks of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), optimise its mandate, and provide recommendations and effective staffing adjustments to support Iraq in enhancing regional cooperation.

The Prime Minister emphasised the critical importance of UNAMI's mission in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. He highlighted its role in bolstering political influence, addressing challenges, promoting political stability, fortifying democratic principles and institutions, supporting the federal system, implementing Article 140 of the constitution, and ensuring the protection of constitutional rights for the Kurdish people and all Iraqi communities.







KRG Prime Minister Inaugurates 5th International Trade Fair for Industry and Construction

On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) unveiled the 5th International Trade Fair for Industry and Construction in Erbil.

This fair focuses on construction materials, electricity, heating, and cooling systems.

With 34 local companies and 178 foreign companies from 10 different countries participating, including Turkey, Iran, India, China, Italy, the Emirates, Lithuania, and Azerbaijan, the three-day event promises to be a global showcase of industry and innovation.







KRG Prime Minister Meets Qatar's Consul General

On Monday, November 13, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Hussein Ali Saleh Al Fazala, the newly appointed Consul General of Qatar in the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani congratulated Mr. Al Fazala on the inauguration of the Qatar Consulate and his appointment as the inaugural Consul General, extending best wishes for his success in this role.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Barzani reiterated the Kurdistan Region's dedication to strengthening its ties with Qatar.

In response, the Consul General conveyed the Emir of Qatar's regards to Prime Minister Barzani and reaffirmed the robust bilateral relations between Qatar and the Kurdistan Region, expressing Qatar's eagerness to deepen these ties and promote increased investment and economic cooperation with the Kurdistan Region.







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