Kurdistan Regional

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President Nechirvan Barzani attends the funeral of victims of Thursday’s gas explosion incident in Sulaymaniyah

Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, November 19, 2022

President Nechirvan Barzani participated today in Sulaymaniyah in the funeral ceremony of the victims of the liquid gas explosion in Sulaymaniyah city, in which 15 people lost their lives and a number of others were injured.

In the funeral ceremony, the President expressed his condolences and deep sympathy to the families of the victims and hoped that God Almighty blesses their souls and grants peace and comfort to their loved ones.

Later, the President visited the injured victims of the incident at the Shar Hospital. The President hoped for their recovery and expressed his readiness to offer full support for their speedy recovery.

Later in the day, in response to journalists, the President spoke about his visit to Sulaymaniyah and said, “Our visit to Sulaymaniyah is to express our condolences to the families and the loved ones of the victims of the incident that occurred. Indeed, it was a tragic event for all of Kurdistan, from Zakho to Khanaqin and all the other places of the Kurdistan Region, and also for people from within and outside the region. We are deeply saddened by what has happened and every family feels very close to the families of the victims.”

The President further said, “Today we came to Sulaymaniyah to express our condolences and we participated in the funeral ceremony with the Governor of Sulaymaniyah and we expressed our sympathies. It was a very tragic accident, and on this occasion, I want to thank the governor for what I heard today, which was his hard work and his feeling of responsibility; all of Shar Hospital doctors and staff members, security forces, the police, the municipality, and volunteering citizens have all done their duties extremely well.”

The President also said, “This incident has created a shared sentiment across Kurdistan, which is a pride for all of us to see how ready we are to help each other when such events occur. I thank each and every one who participated and helped out during such a hard time. I warmly hold their hands and thank them for this. We deeply express our sympathies with this family and we hope that the government investigates this case and finds out exactly what the source of this issue was and why this happened. Indeed, this must become a lesson to try and do what is needed to be done for more peace, security, and safety of the people.”

In response to a question regarding the decision of the President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to compensate for the losses of this family and the cooperation of the President of the Kurdistan Region, he said, “We must all participate in this matter and do what we need to do for this family, and indeed, the government must also get to their duties. Any other sides, the leadership of any party, or any other people who would like to volunteer, we thank them and we would be grateful for that.”

“Indeed, it was an extremely saddening event. Today in Kurdistan, far from all the different responsibilities that we each have, we are all saddened by this tragic incident. We felt responsible to visit them and see them closely, and indeed, we will do whatever is required for them.”

In response to another question regarding the energy resources issue, and the final decision of the President of the Kurdistan Region regarding elections and when it will take place, President Nechirvan Barzani said, “It is a matter of safety. Indeed, the government will investigate this incident and will take the required steps to further protect the safety of citizens, because the duty of the government is to provide services to the citizens of the Kurdistan Region. So, of course, the government will do whatever that is needed to be done in changing the law or instructions and whatever else that is necessary,” the President said.

“Regarding elections, even previously, as the President of the Kurdistan Region, I have sent a letter to the Kurdistan Parliament and I hope that the political parties come to an agreement on this matter. Now, the legislative term of the Kurdistan Parliament has been extended for a year, and indeed, the election must be held during this year.”

In response to another question regarding solving the issues among the political parties, especially those between the KDP and PUK, President Nechirvan Barzani said, “Indeed, we cannot achieve anything for this country and for this region without being united, without agreeing, and without having one shared voice. Our only condition for success is having a united voice. We are different parties and different parties have different opinions and we should not say that we must all think alike.”

The President also said, “What is important is that there is one issue that must be prioritized by all, and that is the interest of the Kurdistan Region. I believe that we can solve the problems and if we look at the statement of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party after the congress, we can see they stated that they will open a new front, start negotiations, and visit all the parties to begin serious efforts to solve all the problems through dialogue. Indeed, we will visit the PUK and the other political parties.”




Prime Minister Masrour Barzani warns about climate change effects at MEPS Forum

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today attended the third Middle East Peace and Security (MEPS) Forum at the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok.

Prime Minister Barzani spoke at length about the reform agenda, including digitalisation, agriculture and Erbil-Baghdad relations, with special emphasis on the real dangers of climate change.

‘This is a very important challenge, maybe not talked about enough. Before, we spoke about these challenges in the future tense, but now we are living them. It is here’. Prime Minister Barzani warned that the existential threat has already led to the migration of people in Iraq, creating security, cultural and political challenges.

Turning to agriculture, and as part of the KRG agenda to diversify the economy, the Prime Minister announced that the first export to new markets has started.

The Prime Minister spoke at length about disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad. He said, ‘We need to increase our cooperation. We are assembling a team to visit Baghdad to negotiate all the outstanding problems’. He also stressed the need to pass a federal hydrocarbons law in line with the principles outlined in the Constitution, calling the step as “the basis” of further cooperation with the Iraqi federal government.


PM Masrour Barzani meets with US ambassador to Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today met with the US Ambassador to Iraq, Alina L. Romanowski, in Duhok.

Prime Minister Barzani and Ambassador Romanowski emphasized the opportunities laid out ahead for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi federal government to resolve their outstanding issues.

The Prime Minister noted that a delegation from his government is ready to be dispatched to Baghdad to negotiate the issues and to find solutions within the framework of the constitution.

The two sides discussed strengthening of the already strong relationship between the US and the Kurdistan Region.


PM Masrour Barzani meets with UK ambassador to Iraq

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today met with UK Ambassador to Iraq, Mark Bryson-Richardson, in Duhok.

Both discussed further consolidating bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and the UK, while also touching upon the situation in Iraq.

Prime Minister Barzani and Ambassador Bryson-Richardson stressed the significance of resolving the remaining points of contention between Erbil and Baghdad, on the basis of constitution.


Remarks by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani at the Kurdistan Innovation Institute

Remarks by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani at the Kurdistan Innovation Institute

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests,

Today marks the 238 anniversary of the founding of our beloved Slemani city. I congratulate its people and Kurdistanis as a whole. The city’s role in our nation’s struggle is clear. This city - of sacrifice and the cultural capital - deserves the best of services. I hope that with the support of the public, we can address the city’s concerns without resorting to political meddling or authoritarianism. We must allow the rule of law to facilitate solutions and fulfill the true development of one of great cities.

It gives me great pleasure to be with you today on an occasion that is both central to my government’s goals and dear to me personally. The Kurdistan Innovation Institute that we are launching here is at the apex of our vision for what Kurdistan can and should be.

Since being sworn in as Prime Minister over three years ago, one of my primary goals has been to find ways to unlock the potential of our people, particularly our youth.

Almost all of my interactions since, whether it be with young Kurds about to begin their journeys, their proud families seeking ways to support them, or other citizens doing their bit in society, have reaffirmed both the need to offer tangible ways to back you and my determination to deliver.

Today is a milestone in our collective growth; as we unveil a center that will be integral to the development of our youth and economy. The institute that we are launching will be a place that gives life to ideas, where creativity is enhanced, where knowledge is distilled, and innovation rewarded.

It will be an epicenter of what I have long aspired for Kurdistan - a Knowledge Nation. A place where the best endeavors of our brightest people will be given the space and resources to prosper.

This facility will be tailored specifically to our youth, providing the equipment and financing necessary to pursue their ideas. Anyone who dares to innovate, who wants to devote their time to research and entrepreneurship and the development of technology, will be welcome here.

We as a government are in the market for ways to help us and to help you. We have long recognized that the talent of the Kurdish people has often remained unharnessed, to our collective detriment.

We also understand that in the past we have not created the environment necessary for many of our youth to fulfill all their dreams or unlock their full potential within our borders. Learning institutions and workplaces abroad have offered bigger and better opportunities.

And in many cases, our best and brightest have been unable to come home; at times they have been unable to put their ideas and projects to use for the betterment of Kurdistan, pursuing instead prominent careers in all walks of life in Europe, and elsewhere, where others have been fortunate to enjoy the benefits of their talents.

Make no mistake, we are proud of each and every member of our diaspora, which remains one of the most dynamic and resourceful in the world. I make no criticism of Kurds who have been forced to leave, often out of necessity. Decades of war, persecution, genocide, and pestilence have made many of exiles at some point in our lives. But, I say to you here today that the brain drain must stop soon. We must join hands through this institution for our collective good. And we are taking important steps to ensure that this happens.

I want to address an important aspect with you this morning, which has undoubtedly contributed to the reluctance of some of our people to return. In some of my discussions and through my own observations, it has become clear that critical thinking - the readiness to test and debate ideas, or to challenge decisions made by others - has not always been encouraged in our society and indeed our workplaces and academic centers.

I say to you all here today that this must change. Innovation is founded on challenge, not by decree. The world’s most creative workspaces are not ruled by fire breathing autocrats. More often than not, they are instead places where consensus is built from an alchemy of skill sets, with each and every team member adding value.

This is the very essence of human capital, the capacity to harness and incubate skills and ideas and turn them into outcomes. We can do this. We will do this.

Our people have earned the right to think big. I say to you here today that we will support ideas that introduce new technologies to make sure that we - in the KRG - can respond to the needs of the public quickly.

I recognize the gap between the public sector and what our private sector can deliver. This gap is steadily closing. And, at the same time, I have made it more rewarding to be an innovator.

Now, if any Kurd has an idea that he, or she wants to take to market, it is easier than ever to do so through public services or this institution. Red tape has been slashed, as have needless fees and other obstacles. We’re introducing protections for intellectual property; digitalizing our public infrastructure and pivoting to private banking. This will install the trust of our people in their elected government, and make it easier for national and international partners to rally behind this institute.

Our people are no strangers to innovation. I remember in the early 1990s, mills dotted our rivers in the countryside, powering our villages, workstations for local industries and other services. Today, thirty years since the founding of the KRG, we still haven’t met the public needs for electricity; demand and prosperity has perpetually outpaced the delivery. This is fast changing. The good news is that we’re not alone in this race; the need for clean, sustainable energy is on the rise around the world. We want to gather innovators and investors and use technology and eco-friendly practices to meet the energy needs of our people and join global efforts to tackle this existential threat.

Our partners understand this challenge. On my visits to the UAE this year I have been repeatedly impressed not just by the powerful nation that has been built in less than 50 years, but by the confidence and energy of the society and its model.

Driven by a common vision to create a state that provides for its citizens, modern states across the region and Asia have remained at the forefront of innovation, embarking on clean energy, design, science, technology and culture. Those who started early have now emerged at the cutting edge of global innovation. I’ve seen similar models across the Gulf. And, as is the case in Kurdistan, its people are its greatest asset. That will be the bedrock principle of the Kurdistan Innovation Institute.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The institute will also include a science park. Innovators will have the laboratory facilities to pursue their research in technology, medicine and mobility products to improve quality of life; our partnerships with incubators and universities on one hand, and research centers on the other, will create relationships and shortcuts for innovation and strengthen scientific infrastructure; and lastly, the institute will bring services to register their ideas. Entrepreneurs will have the institutional support to register patents here and abroad. They will learn how to attract investment, turn ideas into thriving businesses, and create jobs - things that benefit the public sector and public services.

In closing, I want to pay tribute to the extraordinary Kurds I’ve met both home and abroad, who share in our vision, and believe in our nation. As much as possible, I’ve tried to listen to them – entrepreneurs, students and business leaders poised to shape our region. They’ve strengthened my resolve and influenced policies in my government. Some of them have already attracted investor capital from the UK and the US to help develop their ideas. Our people abroad have won renowned awards in physics, mathematics, and engineering. Some have created companies in health, food, and other sectors now worth billions of dollars.

It is my vision, and indeed my belief, that this location will be a meeting place where great minds, extraordinary journeys and common destinies align. On this land, we can all dare to dream. Let us all stand together to applaud the launch of the Kurdistan Innovation Institute, the bedrock of our knowledge nation.

Thank you



President Nechirvan Barzani: Kurdistan is empowered by its talented and creative youth

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, November 14, 2022

President Nechirvan Barzani participated today in Erbil in the launch of the Kurdistan Institute for Innovation (KII), which was attended by Mr. Masrour Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region and a number of local and foreign officials and dignitaries.

The President delivered the following speech at the launching ceremony:

Welcome everyone.

First of all, Mr. Prime Minister congratulated the anniversary of the founding of Sulaymaniyah city. Since I am fifty percent from Sulaymaniyah, I thank him and congratulate the people of Sulaymaniyah and the whole of Kurdistan. I wish them success. Of course, the existing problems will be resolved through dialogue and understanding. We must make this our culture in this country and continue to do so. Good luck.

Also, I stand with Mr. Prime Minister regarding the drone and missile attacks this morning on the city of Koya and the bordering areas. The Kurdistan Region wants to reiterate that it seeks to be a factor of stability in the region and aspires to have good relations with all its neighbors. And in that context, it seeks to have good relations also with Iran.

We have done what we could so far and we will continue to do so in this regard. The Kurdistan Region should not become a threat to the neighboring countries. However, let me say that we see no justification for these missiles and drone attacks on Kurdistan, which must be stopped.

We call on Baghdad not to be silent and to put an end to these violations of Iraqi sovereignty

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to participate in the launch of the Kurdistan Innovation Institute, which is an important and necessary institution for the Kurdistan Region.

The joint cooperation and support of the government, private sector and universities in such an institution is necessary and important for the success of the institution’s mission to highlight innovation and creativity. Kurdistan youth in particular and anyone with new and innovative ideas in any field, can now turn to this institution and rely on its support.

I am sure that there are many young people in Kurdistan in all fields who have new and serious ideas, dreams and passion for creativity and innovation. If there are opportunities and support, Kurdistan’s youth can innovate in many fields of science, technology, medicine and other fields.

Many of us may have heard, seen, or read in the media that a young person, a student, a professional, someone here and there, has an idea or an invention and worked on it through their own efforts and expenses. But their efforts seldom reached a final stage, because unfortunately they didn’t have sufficient support; and because there were no doors to knock on to receive support and prove their talents.

The absence of such an institution may have disheartened many young and innovative people in this country. They may have worked so hard in many different areas but failed to achieve any positive results and in the end they might have given up. Unfortunately, this is a sad fact!

But now young people and people with innovative ideas can see the establishment of the Kurdistan Innovation Institute as good news that they can turn to in the future. They can come and prove their talents, their ideas and innovations through this institution; find financial support for their ideas and innovations; and from just an idea, turn it into action and develop it; make it a product and a source of income and job opportunities for themselves and others.

The presence of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in the chairmanship of the board of directors of this institution, the presence of prominent names in the private sector such as KAR Group, Qaywan Group, Kurdistan universities and academic centers alongside this institution and its management, make it possible for anyone with ideas and talents in any field to prove, develop and invest without hesitation, with confidence and certainty.

I know how seriously Mr. Prime Minister has talked about this idea and worked seriously on it, and this has been one of the dreams he has always talked about with me and many others. Before this ceremony, he repeatedly emphasized to me that the ceremony is very important to him and I should participate in it. I am very pleased that this opportunity has come today and it is really a very important ceremony. I congratulate Mr. Prime Minister and the board which manage this institution. I wish them success.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kurdistan’s youth and innovators are as good as their peers in other countries. They have great abilities, talents, will and dreams. I am sure that if there is the necessary support and assistance available, if there is follow-up, encouragement and appreciation for their ideas and innovations, young people can prove themselves like their peers in other countries.

They can leave their mark, create and discover in many areas. Therefore, it is the duty of the government and the relevant parties to provide all support and assistance to the owners of ideas and the innovators.

I hope that the establishment of the Kurdistan Innovation Institute will be the first step in a continuous process of support and cooperation, opening up more and wider opportunities for talents in any field. It will lead to scientific discovery in the name of youth. Kurdistan’s inventors should be registered at home and abroad.

This institution should be an incentive for Kurdistan’s youth to work harder, do research, follow up and think. Take this opportunity to present creative ideas, maps and plans, hold on to them and don’t give up; to make it a reality and a pride for yourselves, your families and your country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While globalization and rapid technological advances have widened the range of opportunities, the existence of such an institution in Kurdistan will bring the opportunities for the country’s innovators much closer, making their dreams come true.

Today’s world is such that for example, if someone has an idea or an invention anywhere in Kurdistan, he or she can put a map of their invention and draw the parts on their computer at home, send it to places like China to make the pieces and have the manufactured products sent back to him.

So if there is a special institution in this field, how much better, more orderly and safer will the work be? Such an institution can facilitate and support the process to reach a final, smooth and successful completion at all stages, with legal and scientific registration, licensing, (protected rights) and (legal rights).

Therefore, I would like to reiterate that the idea of establishing the Kurdistan Innovation Institute and the purpose behind the establishment is commendable and respectful. I would like to warmly congratulate all those who have worked to make this institution a reality. I hope it will become a center of talent in a peaceful and stable future for the talents of Kurdistan at home and abroad.

I congratulate the youth and innovators of Kurdistan that now there is a center based on the support and cooperation of the government – private sector – university, which will be their laboratory to go to with their ideas and innovations.

I wish the Kurdistan Innovation Institute and its managers success. I congratulate them.

Thank you all; I wish you a good day.




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