Kurdistan Regional

Kurdistan Regional (694)

Kurdistan Region President Barzani Visits Europe

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani will visit France and Italy in the coming days. The President will meet French President François Hollande in Paris and Pope Francis in the Vatican. The President will also meet senior Italian government officials in Rome.

President Barzani and an accompanying KRG delegation will aim to boost KRG’s relations with France and Italy.





President Barzani Meets French President Hollande in Paris

Paris, France (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with French President François Hollande in Paris on Friday.

President Barzani and King Abdullah of Jordan discuss bolstering ties


Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani returned yesterday following a three day visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan upon an official invitation by King Abdullah II. President Barzani and King Abdullah discussed the development of stronger bilateral relations, and President Barzani conducted a number of meetings with senior Jordanian officials aimed at bolstering ties and exchanging views on regional developments. 

Prime Minister Barzani and UK Foreign Secretary Hague discuss bilateral ties

London, United Kingdom (KRG.org) - Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his accompanying delegation yesterday met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss bilateral relations and current political issues.‎

Speaking after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Hague said, "I was pleased to welcome Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Barzani to London today. The Prime Minister's visit is a chance to celebrate the warm relations between the UK and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, with links in areas as diverse as trade, education, and culture, and to reaffirm the UK's desire to remain the Region's partner of choice on all of these issues."

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his full support for the KRG's robust and mutually beneficial partnership with the United Kingdom. ‎Speaking after meeting the Foreign Secretary, he said, "This meeting was an important step in solidifying an already successful partnership with the UK, as well as exploring new avenues for cooperation. We highly value this relationship and are pleased to see it progress in this way."

‎The Prime Minister discussed relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the political developments in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, and the pressing matter of the Syrian refugee crisis, including the role of the Kurdistan Region as a safe haven for thousands of Syrian refugees.

The Foreign Secretary lauded the success of the Kurdistan Region, stating, "I congratulated the Prime Minister on the progress that has been made in the Kurdistan Region over recent years, and the relative stability and security that has been achieved despite the violence in other parts of Iraq, and in neighboring Syria."

During the meeting both sides discussed the latest political developments in Iraq, including the recent elections, and the forthcoming government formation process. The regional government formation process in the Kurdistan was also an important topic. Prime Minister Barzani emphasised the value of including the main Kurdish political parties to reflect a truly inclusive and represent government. The meeting was attended by Hugh Robertson, The British Minister of State for the Middle East, the British Ambassador to Iraq, and a number of British advisors and officials.

Both sides also discussed ways to consolidate and strengthen relations between Erbil and London, particularly in regard to trade, investment, and cultural and educational exchange, in addition to cooperation between official British and Kurdish institutions. They spoke about the importance of commencing direct flights between Erbil and London as well as developing a clear mechanism which would ensure senior-level follow up and implementation of agreements.

Later that evening the Kurdish delegation met members of parliament from various British political parties at a dinner held in honour of the visiting delegation, which included Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Harwami, Minister of Planning Ali Sindi, Minister of Housing and Reconstruction and Acting Head of the Board of Investment Kamaran Ahmed, Head of the KRG Department of Follow Up and Coordination Minister Qubad Talabani, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa, KRG Spokesperson Minister Safeen Dizayee, KRG Representative to the UK‎ Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman and various advisors.








EU delegation discusses strategic issues, establishment of permanent representation with Kurdish leadership

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (KRG.org) – A European Union Delegation led by the Ambassador of the EU to Iraq, Jana Hybaskova, and ambassadors of a number of EU countries visited Kurdistan to hold meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, and other officials, and to attend a Europe Day celebration hosted by the KRG. The delegation discussed a number of strategic issues related to Iraq and Kurdistan, as well as the possibility of opening a permanent European Union representation office in Erbil. The aim of the visit was for the delegation to gain an opportunity to better understand the situation and to gain firsthand information on Kurdistan.

Meeting with the President

Ambassador Hybaskova congratulated President Barzani for the successful parliamentary and provincial elections that were conducted last month and said that this meeting is a reaffirmation of the strategic relationship between the EU and Iraq.  She said, "The elections were truly competitive and democratic, and serve as a very good example for the Middle East,” adding that the EU wants to see a government that is inclusive and that represents all the people of Iraq. President Barzani discussed with members of the delegation prospects for the political process in Iraq and the future direction of the country. President Barzani thanked the EU delegation for the visit and for the endorsement of the electoral process. He said the EU can play an important role in strengthening the democratic process in the country.

“Your positive assessment of our elections gives us strength to continue along this path. Your support will help us address our shortcomings." He added, "The EU can play an important role in Iraq, based on the promotion of democracy, adherence to the Constitution, and genuine power-sharing in the country. I believe this election is the last opportunity for genuine power-sharing and the possibility of stability. If genuine partnership is not implemented in the new government, our people will go for a referendum on a confederation in Iraq.”

EU ambassadors and representatives also raised questions with President Barzani, including some relating to the recent elections, efforts to finalize Kurdistan's regional government, and the situation of Syrian refugees in Kurdistan. On behalf of the EU, Ms. Jana Hybaskova thanked the KRG for its support to the more than 240,000 Syrian refugees currently living in Kurdistan and acknowledged that this has created great strain on the KRG resources. For his part, President Barzani said that the KRG would continue to do what it can to support the Syrian refugees.

Meeting with the Prime Minister

The delegation also met with the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. The Prime Minister welcomed the delegation and began by expressing his support for a permanent EU representation in Kurdistan to help strengthen relations between Kurdistan and the EU. The meeting was attended by the KRG Deputy Prime Minister Imad Ahmed, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa and the Head of the KRG Department of Follow-Up and Coordination, Minister Qubad Talabani.

The visiting delegation explained that the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union will hold a meeting before the end of June to decide on the structure of the future relationship with Iraq. Ambassador Hybaskova highlighted the importance of this visit, as the findings would be sent to the capitals of the 28 EU member states. She added that this visit was evidence of the EU's commitment to Kurdistan and its support for the fundamental principles of democracy, constitutional law, and human rights.

The Prime Minister briefed the delegation on the current disputes with Baghdad, highlighting the problems related to this year’s budget as well as Baghdad's unexpected and unlawful decision to cut the disbursement of salaries of the KRG employees. Regarding the formation of the next government in Baghdad, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of genuine partnership and power sharing.

Prime Minister Barzani also noted the importance of unity and a common vision among the political parties of Kurdistan. Despite healthy and democratic differences of opinions that exist between Kurdish political parties internally, the Prime Minister stated that this will not have any effect on the Region's relations with Baghdad, as all Kurdish political parties are united on issues pertaining to the Kurdish people. He added, "With these elections, we see the last opportunity to correct the ways in which Iraq is governed."

Meeting with the Department of Foreign Relations

Prior to participating in the Europe Day reception hosted by the KRG, the EU delegation met separately with the Head of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa. In this meeting, the visiting Ambassador assured Minister Mustafa that the EU is now working on the establishment of a permanent representation in Kurdistan.  She explained that with several EU member states having established diplomatic representation in Erbil, an EU representation office in Erbil is essential to furthering KRG relations with the European community.

She also reaffirmed the continuous technical and humanitarian assistance of the EU and member states through ECHO, the humanitarian aid and civil protection department of the European Commission, and other NGO’s in support of the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan. The EU has embarked on a long-term plan to assist these refugees and IDPs.

Minister Mustafa was pleased by the efforts of the EU in assisting refugees with basic needs, as the crisis has taken a toll on the KRG. In this regard, the Minister requested that the international community jointly finds a solution to the conflict in Syria. He then held an interactive question and answer session with the various diplomats to address in detail a wide array of issues related to Kurdistan and Iraq.








Nechirvan Barzani and Qubad Talabani tasked to form 8th Cabinet

Erbil, Kurdistan (KRG.org) - Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani has signed an order tasking Prime Minister designate Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister designate Qubad Talabani to form the eighth Cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Prime Minister Barzani will continue in his role in the same capacity, while Minister Talabani will move from his current role as Head of the KRG Department of Coordination and Follow-up to Deputy Prime Minister.

According to Kurdistan's laws, the cabinet must be formed within 30 days of the issuance of the President's order. This decision signals the final step in the government formation process, and paves the way for an eighth cabinet coalition to include a number of political parties.

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