Kurdistan Region President delivers a speech at the reception of Dr. Najmadin Karim’s body

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region, November 6, 2020

In an official ceremony held at the Erbil International Airport to receive the body of the late Dr. Najmadin Karim, the former governor of Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani delivered a speech honoring Dr. Karim’s legacy. Kurdistan Region senior officials, dignitaries and family members of the late governor were present. Dr. Karim’s body was flown from the United States to the Kurdistan Region where he will be, temporarily, laid to rest in Pirmam sub-district.
Below is the text of the speech:

Honorable Guests,
My fellow Kurdistanis:

Today, we receive and honor the body of an accomplished personality and a true champion of Kurdistan, Dr. Najmadin Karim. We pay tribute to him with great sorrow, but also with utmost pride. Dr. Najmadin Karim lived with dignity, and every one of us can remember him as a man of great dignity. Today, we proudly receive and honor his body.

Dr. Karim was a brave and dauntless man. A bravery he had inherited from his Kirkuki and Garmiyani origin. And it was his courage that eventually led him to take historic positions throughout his life and career.

Dr. Karim became a member of the Kurdistan Students Union well before completing the medical school in Iraq. After graduating and without hesitation, the late doctor became a Peshmerga and joined the September Revolution of 1961; serving as a physician. After a short period of time, he was able to gain the trust of Mustafa Barzani, the leader of the Revolution. In the wake of the setback of the revolution, Dr. Karim participated in the preparations for the Gulan Revolution of 1976. And when Mustafa Barzani fell ill, Dr. Karim accompanied him as a physician to the United States.

In the United States, Dr. Karim completed his higher education in medicine and became a board certified specialist in Neurosurgery. He had a high standing within academia as well and made use of his position as a renowned surgeon to reach out and find supporters for the Kurdish cause. He tried to garner ever-greater support for the legitimate rights of the people of Kurdistan. Dr. Karim won lots of friends for the Kurdish Cause and continuously assisted the visiting delegations from Kurdistan to reach out and meet with US officials. Through his uninterrupted strive for Kurdistan, he also developed lasting friendships and ties with political groups and parties from other parts of greater Kurdistan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In 2009, Dr. Karim returned to Kurdistan and became a politburo member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. He was a trusted confidant of the late Mam Jalal Talabani and served President Mam Jalal compassionately.

Dr. Karim was in love with Kirkuk. He would often say that for him, Kirkuk was like his heart. When he took office as Kirkuk governor in April 2011, he served Kirkuk wholeheartedly. He was never tired of working for Kirkuk and the Kirkukis. Under his leadership, Kirkuk Governorate witnessed a quantum boom in development and service projects. Nearly 600 schools were built; there were no longer crowded schools, some with three shift attendance. Almost 30 medical centers were built and %70 of the streets in Kirkuk’s inner-city were reconstructed. In addition, the Azadi Hospital was thoroughly renovated, and a large modern hospital was built in Hawija town. The Slemani-Kirkuk-Baghdad roads were reconstructed, the Kirkuk- Erbil road was rebuilt into dual carriageway and the Khasajay Dam was constructed. Every year nearly 400 projects were implemented in Kirkuk.

Dr. Karim served all communities in Kirkuk regardless of ethnicity. At the same time, he knew that Kirkuk is the central issue in the disagreements with Iraq, which is why he strived to resolve the disagreements with outmost devotion in close coordination with President Masoud Barzani and President Jalal Talabani.

In many of these projects in Kirkuk, which were completed with our support from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Dr. Karim would come and speak with us about them and he would insist passionately to get our support in implementing the projects there. He tried ardently to solve Kirkuk’s issues. He knew Kirkuk was the main and fundamental problem between the Iraqi government and the KRG. Unfortunately, since Iraqi parties have not been committed to the implementation of the article 140 of the constitution, this problem is still pending and has greatly damaged all of Iraq.

As we stand before the body of Dr. Karim today, once again we reiterate that the question of Kirkuk and the disputed territories must be resolved peacefully, with dialogue and on the basis of the Iraqi constitution. The longer this issue is delayed, the more complicated the problem becomes. Once again we call for talks, based on the constitution, to resolve these issues.

Dear attendees,
Dr. Najmadin Karim left us after a life full of good work and accomplishments. Once again, I offer my and the Kurdistan Region Presidency’s condolences and sympathies to the family, relatives and the beloved people of Kirkuk and to all the people of Kurdistan.
According to Dr. Karim’s will, he will be laid to rest in Erbil temporarily and we hope that his wish to return his body to Kirkuk is realized in the near future. Hopefully the circumstances become conducive so that we be able to return Dr. Karim’s body to Kirkuk.
Thank you all for attending.





Kurdistan Region President receives Egypt’s Consul General

ERBIL, November 4, 2020

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Muhammad Wajih Hijazi, the Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Erbil on Wednesday.

President Nechirvan Barzani congratulated the Consul General on assuming his new mission in the Kurdistan Region and wished him success. The President reiterated the Kurdistan Region’s willingness to develop and strengthen bilateral relations with Egypt in all fields and stated that the people of the Kurdistan Region value their historic relations with Egypt and shed light on the role and the position of Egypt in the region.

On his part, Consul General Hijazi thanked the people and the leadership of the Kurdistan Region for supporting Egypt’s Consulate General and its activities in the Kurdistan Region and conveyed his country’s appreciation for the development of relations with the Kurdistan Region. Mr. Hijazi also highlighted and praised the role of the Peshmerga forces in defeating ISIS and confronting terrorism and emphasized his country’s desire to expand mutual relations with the Kurdistan Region in all fields of cooperation, especially cultural and economic fields.

Both sides also discussed the increase of direct flights between Erbil and Cairo to four flights per week and education opportunities for Kurdistan Region students at Egypt’s universities.

The two sides also shed light on the role of the Al-Azhar University in solidifying the culture of coexistence and harmony among communities, business and investment opportunities for Egyptian companies in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, ways to confront the threats of terror, the latest developments in the wider region and other topics of mutual interest.





Prime Minister Masrour Barzani lays foundation stone of key farming project in Erbil

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today laid the foundation stone for a strategic project in Erbil as part of the government’s support to farmers and wheat producers.

Joined by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to strengthening the Kurdistan Region’s economic infrastructure and increasing the local capacity of its food industry.
Prime Minister Barzani said the government continues to advance with its efforts to diversify the economy across all sectors, notably the agricultural sector.

The Prime Minister noted how Kurdistan has a wealth of experience in farming, dating back thousands of years as evidenced by remains of Neanderthal humans found with wheat plants discovered in the Barzan area Shanidar Cave in the mid twentieth century. He also pointed to Charmo, one of the oldest villages in the world located in Kurdistan, where locals worked and lived off the land.

Prime Minister Barzani acknowledged the damage the former Iraqi regime's chemical attack and Anfal campaign inflicted on arable lands in the Kurdistan region, targeting its ability to be agriculturally self-sufficient. He stressed that the Kurdistan Region is prioritizing its food security, and has the potential to become a production hub for Iraq and the broader region.

Recognising the crucial role farmers and producers play in strengthening and diversifying the Kurdistan Region’s economy, the Kurdistan Regional Government recently allocated an additional $250 million to the construction of new factories and silos in support of the local food industry.

During the ceremony, the Prime Minister also urged the public to comply with official health and safety guidelines as pandemic infection rates surge across the Kurdistan Region.





Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (DFR.GOV.KRD) – Minister Safeen Dizayee, Head of the KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) on Sunday met with Mr Mehdi Shushtari, newly appointed Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Slemani.


Minister Dizayee congratulated him and assured him of DFR’s full support, as well as wished him success in his new post.


During the meeting, Minister Dizayee and Mr Shushtari discussed the latest developments in the region and ways to enhance bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Islamic Republic of Iran.


The newly-appointed Consul General expressed his optimism about his new position and work in the Region, while also wished to play an effective role in strengthening relations between the two countries across many issues.




Prime Minister Masrour Barzani receives French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani received today French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss bilateral relations and regional developments.

In the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, both sides reviewed the political situation in Iraq and the importance of developing the already strong, historic relationship between the Kurdistan Region and France.

Prime Minister Barzani and Foreign Minister Le Drian agreed on the importance of increasing bilateral trade and investment in a way that reflects the strong, trusted political and diplomatic ties.

The Prime Minister thanked France for its historic commitment to the Kurdish people.

He also spoke about recent talks with the federal government on outstanding issues, including budget and oil and gas. In that regard, Prime Minister Barzani noted that France can play an important role for an agreement that in line with the Constitution.

Foreign Minister Le Drian reiterated his country's support for the Kurdistan Region at this difficult time. He announced readiness to assist, adding that experts are on the ground to help develop the agriculture sector to ease the economic crisis. Foreign Minister Le Drian added that aid to the refugee camps will continue through aid organisations.


The French Foreign Minister extended an invitation to Prime Minister Barzani to visit France.







Minister Safeen Dizayee holds virtual meeting with KRG Representatives abroad on latest developments and relations with international community

Minister Safeen Dizayee, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), on 25th June held a virtual meeting with the KRG’s representatives abroad, to discuss the latest political, economic, humanitarian and health developments in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and the wider the region.

Minister Dizayee briefed the KRG representatives on the current situation and the KRG’s position and policies.

Minister Dizayee said that the KRG supports the new Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and calls for Kurdistan’s rights to be implemented, based on the Constitution.

He added that the KRG hopes to reach an agreement with Baghdad soon to resolve all the outstanding issues.

Minister Dizayee stressed the need for coordination between the KRG and Iraqi Federal government with the global Coalition to deter ISIS from terrorist acts, saying that ISIS’s movements have increased and it is taking advantage of the security vacuum.

On the Strategic Dialogue between Iraq and the US, Minister Dizayee stated the meaning of the agreement for both countries: Iraq still needs military and logistical support and the revival of its economic infrastructure, and the United States aims to support Iraq in counter-terrorism and developing its economic, scientific, energy and cultural fields.

He stressed the importance of the Kurdistan Region’s role in the agreement, in which its representative participated in the first meeting.

On the coronavirus pandemic, Minister Dizayee said that the KRG continuously liaises with the diplomatic missions, UN agencies and charitable organizations that are providing assistance to contain the virus.

The representatives abroad shared their current areas of work and plans for future projects.

The participants exchanged ideas on how to strengthen and promote the Kurdistan Region's relationships with other nations at all levels.




President Nechirvan Barzani meets with UNSG Special Representative Plasschaert

Baghdad, Iraq, June 20, 2020

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani met with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis- Plasschaert, in Baghdad on Saturday.

The latest political and economic developments in Iraq and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were highlighted at the meeting. The two sides reiterated the importance of cooperation and coordination among all parties in Iraq in order to overcome the current crises facing the country.

The newly formed government in Iraq and efforts to resolve the pending issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Region in accordance with the constitution of Iraq were also discussed.

 President Nechirvan Barzani expressed Kurdistan Region’s readiness to resolve the issues with the federal government within the framework of the constitution and appreciated the important role of the United Nations in helping to resolve these issues.



President Nechirvan Barzani meets with Iraq’s President Barham Salih

Baghdad, Iraq, June 20, 2020

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani met with Iraq’s President Barham Salih in Baghdad on Saturday.

At the meeting, also attended by Kurdistan Region’s Vice Presidents, both sides underlined the importance of resolving the pending issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Region in accordance with constitution of Iraq and through mutual cooperation and coordination.

 Both Presidents emphasized that solutions to the current issues facing the country should serve social justice and protect the rights of all citizens in Iraq. Discussions also focused on finding solutions to the economic crises in Iraq and the importance of cooperation and coordination among all parties in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak and its implications.


President Nechirvan Barzani meets with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi

Baghdad, Iraq, June 20, 2020

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani held a meeting with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Baghdad on Saturday.

At the meeting, also attended by Kurdistan Region Vice Presidents, President Nechirvan Barzani congratulated Mr. Al-Kadhimi on assuming the office as Prime Minister. Both sides discussed the pending issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, efforts to resolve them in accordance to Iraq’s constitution and ways to confront the current challenges facing the country.

Kurdistan Region President and Iraq’s Prime Minister underlined the importance of cooperation and coordination between the federal government and the Kurdistan Region in order to overcome the current challenges, particularly the economic crisis which has gripped the country due to the drop in oil prices following the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Both sides also reiterated that overcoming the current crises and restoring peace and stability require collective cooperation and coordination.



President Nechirvan Barzani and Iraq’s Parliament Speaker discuss latest developments

Baghdad, Iraq, June 20, 2020

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani met with the Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq, Mohamed al-Halbousi on Saturday.

At the meeting, also attended by Kurdistan Region Vice Presidents, the pending issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Region were highlighted as well as the economic crises in Iraq, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the containment efforts.

 The two sides also reiterated the importance of cooperation and coordination among all sides in order to overcome the current crises facing the country and also finding solutions to the pending issues between Erbil and Baghdad in accordance with the constitution of Iraq.





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