President Nechirvan Barzani and French Ambassador discuss the situation in Iraq and the region

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, November 15, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani held a meeting with Mr. Éric Chevalier, France’s Ambassador to Iraq, earlier today.

Their discussion focused on the recent political developments in Iraq, the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad, and the efforts to resume oil exports from the Kurdistan Region. They also delved into France’s relations with both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and exchanged perspectives on the situation in the Middle East and its impact and repercussions.

President Nechirvan Barzani welcomed the continuation of the ongoing talks between Erbil and Baghdad, aimed at resolving the outstanding issues. He also described the recent visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister and Oil Minister to Erbil as constructive and positive, emphasizing the Kurdistan Region’s commitment to resolving matters with the Iraqi Federal Government in accordance with the Constitution.

In light of the tensions in the Middle East, the two discussed efforts to prevent further escalation and stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability in Iraq. They concurred that Iraq should not be drawn into the conflict and underscored the need to maintain the safety of coalition forces and diplomats.

Furthermore, President Nechirvan Barzani and Ambassador Chevalier touched upon the President’s recent visit to Paris and his meeting with President Emmanuel Macron. They also highlighted the relations between Iraq and the Kurdistan Region with neighboring countries, along with other issues of mutual interest.





President Nechirvan Barzani meets with Head of the Independent Strategic Review of UNAMI

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, November 15, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani held a meeting today with Mr. Volker Perthes, the Head of the Independent Strategic Review of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Their discussion addressed Mr. Perthes’ visit to Iraq and his meetings with senior Iraqi officials. They also emphasized and appreciated the important role of the UN team and its agencies in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

President Nechirvan Barzani expressed his gratitude to the United Nations and its agencies for their longstanding support and assistance to Iraq in many areas of work and at numerous stages. He highlighted UNAMI’s efforts in stabilizing the country, promoting democracy and good governance, and improving the performance of institutions after Iraq’s liberation.

Mr. Perthes, on his part, shared his perspectives on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, as well as on Iraq’s request to review the mission. He expressed his gratitude to the President for recognizing the importance of the United Nations and their agencies in supporting Iraq, and for his insightful comments on their work and responsibilities.





President Nechirvan Barzani meets with Iraq’s Oil Minister

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, November 13, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani held a meeting with Mr. Hayan Abdul-Ghani, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister for Energy Affairs and Oil, accompanied by a high-level delegation. The discussion encompassed the latest measures and efforts to resume oil exports, and emphasized the importance of the ongoing dialogue between the Iraqi Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government on this issue.

President Nechirvan Barzani reiterated his unwavering support for the collaborative efforts undertaken by both the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to address the challenges and restart oil exports from the Kurdistan Region. He stressed the significant financial loss incurred by Iraq due to the halt in oil exports from the Kurdistan Region, and underscored the necessity and importance of resuming exports as soon as possible.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdul-Ghani, in turn, expressed the genuine commitment of the Iraqi Federal Government and Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani to resolving the outstanding issues and resuming oil exports from the Kurdistan Region. Additionally, he gave an overview of the objectives of his visit and the outcomes of the discussions between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Iraq’s two deputy oil ministers and the acting Kurdistan Regional Government Minister for Natural Resources participated in the meeting.





KRG Prime Minister Receives Canadian Ambassador to Iraq

On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) received Kathy Bunka, the newly appointed Canadian Ambassador to Iraq.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister extended his congratulations to Ambassador Bunka and affirmed the KRG's unwavering support for enhancing the relationship between Canada and the Kurdistan Region.

Ambassador Bunka, in turn, expressed Canada's keen interest in strengthening ties with the Kurdistan Region, particularly in areas such as investment, trade, and cultural exchanges.

The discussions also touched upon important topics, including reinforcing the Iraqi federal system, addressing the challenges posed by climate change, and benefiting from Canada's expertise in this field.





KRG Prime Minister Meets with French Ambassador to Iraq

On Saturday, October 28, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held discussions with Éric Chevalier, the Ambassador of France to Iraq.

The meeting covered recent developments in the wider region, bilateral relations and also delved into the imperative of upholding the constitutional rights and financial entitlements of the Kurdistan Region, especially in light of the KRG's submission of comprehensive data to the Iraqi government and the Finance Committee at the Iraqi parliament.

Both sides stressed the urgent need for the federal government to disburse the financial entitlements owed to the region, thereby preventing further encroachment on the rights of public sector employees in the area.

The talks also emphasised the vital importance of maintaining security and stability in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, underscoring the need to protect diplomatic envoys and coalition forces.





Prime Minister Barzani’s speech at the Catholic University of Erbil graduation

First and foremost a very warm welcome to all of you who have gathered tonight to celebrate the commencement ceremony of the Class of 2023 of the Catholic University of Erbil.

The ground we are standing on today is sacred in more ways than one. Not only is it the property of a Church and a campus that has provided a first rate education for youth from around our region.

It was also built on land that served as a sanctuary during some of the darkest times of our modern history. As Nineveh and Sinjar were embattled during the rampage of the Isis terror group, construction on this campus continued.

Christians, Yezidis, Kurds and Muslims flocked to this area, and all were received with grace and dignity. Erbil became a sanctuary for the dispossessed. Anyone who came here during those terrible years had a chance to start again.

The institution that stands before us now is a testament to resilience, yours and ours. Good prevailed over evil in this land, and today we are witnessing the results; a graduating class that can enter a workforce equipped and motivated to give back a place that has offered hope and opportunity.

I believe in the society that has been created here; a model of coexistence, where people of different faiths can prosper alongside each other. There are few other places in our region where this model has been so successful; where ancient faiths and customs flourish as an example to us all.

My government, and the previous administration offered bedrock security guarantees that have encouraged the best and brightest and their families to stay and seek lives here. I look at the audience in front of me with pride.

For all of you who are graduating, I congratulate you. To the families here to witness this occasion, I thank you for the support you have offered to your sons and daughters. University education is a team effort, and the roles that families play, the sacrifices they make is often overlooked. It isn’t today.

I also want to thank faculty and lecturers for putting your education above their personal needs. At times, I’m sure, their own lives, and families, will have taken a backseat in the pursuit of your advancement.
The sacrifices you have all made to get this graduation class to this day are all worth it.

There is no substitute for the accomplishments that stem from hard work. We are at our most fulfilled when we achieve a task that we commit ourselves to doing. Each of you now has the chance to fulfill paths that you committed yourselves to when you enrolled in this institution. The Catholic University of Erbil is the only university named as Catholic from Malaysia to Morocco.

Since 2015 it has served as a light on the hill for graduates that have given back to their communities. As well as serving as a centre of learning, it has been a place of regeneration and of certainty for the cradle of civilisation - the ancient plains of Nineveh, on which barbarians attempted to erase thousands of years of tradition and history.

They failed. You are part of a graduating year that will help consolidate the recovery.

My government will always prioritise education. As I told other graduating students this month, I am committed to empowering you with all the tools necessary to realise your full potential. In the past I have spoken about the Kurdistan Region becoming a knowledge nation. You are within your right to ask what that means for you graduates. I have been clear that our human capital is the greatest national asset we have, and in particular our youth.

I know you all have a voice; I know you are ambitious and see your peers from the region and beyond and believe you deserve a life of security and prosperity that is at least equal to them. Our mission is to ensure that happens. My priority is to bridge your aspirations with the tools and opportunities to do so. We have made important progress here, but this cannot happen through the government alone.

Each of you has a role to play too. You will have to prepare yourselves to engage in global questions. It is easy to be complacent; to feel that these issues do not affect you. But questions like climate change, water and food scarcity and poverty do not recognise borders; they touch everybody. And they affect you too. In Kurdistan’s near future you will have a voice in these debates, and you will be expected to present alternatives - to bring forth ideas, for example, in ways to safeguard the environment.

You will also be encouraged to play a role in investing in early education through technology and partnerships with research centres and the private sector.

Some of you here will no doubt go on to continue your education. Some of you will probably go on to start your own businesses and take on the next big ideas. Whatever you do, we will be here to back you, celebrate your success and advance your ideas. There are big expectations for your generation.

I encourage you to go beyond your forebears; the more that Kurdistan integrates regionally and connects to the global economy, as is our firm goal, the more we as a nation will need to compete. Your ideas, products and inventions will need to cater to the needs of people and businesses beyond Kurdistan. We will support you in these endeavours.

To the Class of 2023 you will go forth into the world with new friends and new understandings. I’m sure that everyone of you has learned from your peers about their traditions and cultures.

I am equally sure that you will leave this institution with respect for each other and a commitment to not let the mistakes of history repeat. Co-existence is not only possible, but vital. As Kurds, we have long held belief as central to the way that we live. My government is committed to offering protections to groups who do not have the means to protect themselves.

We will always be especially well disposed to communities who give back. Your contribution as part of our society will always be welcomed. I encourage you to embrace a broader community. Together we stand united, and this is a lesson that I would like you to leave with tonight. Your years of education have not only equipped you with skills for the workforce, but an understanding of how society can and should be organised.

Take these lessons forward with you. Each and everyone one of you now has the chance to make a contribution to the betterment of humanity.
Go forth and prosper. I am very proud of you all.





KRG Prime Minister Welcomes Al-Ittihad Sports Club

On Sunday, November 5th, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) hosted a meeting with Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad Sports Club.

The meeting, which was also attended by Mohamad bin Suleman Al Oseri, Consul General of Saudi Arabia in the Kurdistan Region, saw the Prime Minister extend a warm welcome to the club's president, coaches, and players. He underlined the significant role of sports, not only in providing enjoyment and health benefits but also in fostering unity and reconciliation among nations by bringing people together.

In response, the president and players of Al-Ittihad Club expressed their delight at visiting the Kurdistan Region and conveyed their heartfelt appreciation for the warm welcome extended by the people of Erbil.





KRG Prime Minister Meets with US Ambassador to Iraq

On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Alina Romanowski, the US Ambassador to Iraq.

The meeting highlighted the critical importance of disbursing the Kurdistan Region's financial entitlements, especially in light of the comprehensive data and information provided by the KRG to the Iraqi government.

Additionally, both parties discussed the vital role of maintaining security and stability in Iraq, with a specific focus on safeguarding diplomatic missions and coalition forces in both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.





KRG Prime Minister Meets with British Ambassador

On Saturday, November 11, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Stephen Hitchen, the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Iraq.

The discussions centered on the most recent political and security developments in the region, with both sides emphasising the critical importance of preserving Iraq's stability, security, and neutrality, while ensuring the safety of coalition forces and diplomatic missions within the country.

The importance of holding the Kurdistan Region's parliamentary elections as scheduled was also a key point in their discussions.





KRG Prime Minister Welcomes Iraq’s Federal Prime Minister

KRG Prime Minister Welcomes Iraq’s Federal Prime Minister

On Thursday, November 9, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) welcomed Iraq’s Federal Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani at Erbil International Airport.






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