PM Masrour Barzani meets with the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday met with the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, to discuss regional developments and the EU’s support to the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his gratitude for the EU’s efforts to bring stability to Iraq and underscored the important role international monitoring teams will play in the upcoming Iraqi elections in supporting a safe and transparent voting process.

Both sides agreed that the Kurdistan Region continues to serve as a driver of peace and stability in the Middle East, which the Prime Minister believes should be supported through the full implementation of the Iraqi Constitution and the respect of the principles of equality and cooperation as the foundation for Iraq’s governance structure.

Prime Minister Barzani also emphasised the Kurdistan Regional Government’s readiness to strengthen ties with the EU beyond its support in the war against terrorism and explore ways to deepen cooperation on reforms, Erbil-Baghdad relations, and the safe return of refugees and IDPs to their homes.

Kurdistan Region President meets with EU high delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, September 7, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Joseph Borrell, the Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, and his accompanying delegation, in Erbil on Tuesday.

Wide-ranging discussions focused on the situation in Iraq, the European Union’s (EU) relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, expanding partnership and cooperation, as well as the relations between Erbil and Baghdad and their pending disputes. Discussions also covered the dangers of terrorism and the threats posed by ISIS, the upcoming Iraqi elections and the anticipated political developments in the future, the status of the refugees and the displaced people, the impact of climate change, the latest developments in the wider region, as well as other topics of mutual interest.

Mr. Borrell expressed the appreciation of the European Union for the role of the Kurdistan Region in the fight against ISIS and its defeat and commended the Kurdistan Region hosting refugees and IDPs and protecting all communities in the country. Mr. Borrell reiterated the continuous support of the EU to the Kurdistan Region in all areas.

For his part, President Nechirvan Barzani appreciated the role of the European Union in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and valued EU’s support to the institutions and the reform processes in the Region, and also commended EU’s efforts to resolve the existing problems in Iraq.

The President reaffirmed that Iraq’s problems need political solutions based on the constitution and shared responsibility.

Following the meeting, a joint press conference was held. Below is a readout of the press conference:

President Nechirvan Barzani:

“I welcome the Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Mr. Borrell in Erbil.

“We highly appreciate this timely visit to the country that is a sign of EU’s commitment towards Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

“We had a wide-ranging discussion on EU-Iraq relations, Erbil-Baghdad ties and disputes, the war against terrorism, the threat of ISIS, the upcoming Iraqi elections and the importance of the participation of EU monitoring teams, the regional developments, migration and other issues of common interest.

“We thank the EU and its member states for their support in the fight against ISIS and for providing humanitarian aid. The EU, through its development programs, has also considerably contributed to capacity building in different sectors.

“Climate change is impacting the entire planet and we are of no exception. It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change is threatening Iraq’s security and development. I am proud that 3 of Kurdistan Region Governorates have become members of the European Covenant of Mayors, because they developed Energy and Climate Adaptation Plans with EU’s support. We encourage the EU to continue supporting Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, in our efforts to address the devastating impact of climate change.

“We seek EU’s support in providing capacity-building programs to strengthen our institutions, our reforms, the rule of law, good governance, and women and youth empowerment, maintaining academic collaboration, enhancing our administration procedures and developing our judiciary system.

“The Kurdistan Region also needs EU’s support to fully take part in all agreements between Iraq and the European Union.

“In the end, Mr Borrell, I would like to reiterate our commitment to promoting our shared values including democracy, freedom of expression, respect for human rights, peaceful co-existence and religious freedom and safeguarding all communities.

“Thank you!”

Mr. Joseph Borrell:

“Thank you President Barzani. My first words have to be to thank you President Barzani for the warm welcome here in Erbil. I am pleased to conclude my visit to Iraq at this region, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Because it would be impossible to visit Iraq without paying strong attention to the Kurdistan Region.

“We have had a very productive discussion about many issues of mutual interest that the president referred to them. We know that the region has had difficult times in the past and many challenges remain. I am here to express on behalf of the European Union our solidarity and support. The European Union is, and will be still more, a friend and a partner.

“In these difficult time the Kurdistan Region plays a crucial role in ensuring stability in Iraq and the wider region. We therefore attach high importance to the relationship between Erbil and federal authorities in Baghdad. We understand the difficulties and encourage all efforts to resolve the existing differences and ensure cooperation and we are ready also to try to help on that.

“In my discussions with the President I had the opportunity to acknowledge and commend the important contribution by the Kurdistan Regional Government to the efforts of the Global Coalition against Daesh (ISIS). The important contribution of the Kurdistan people have been decisive in the fight against Daesh. We the European Union remain firmly committed to this global coalition to continue working against Daesh. The fight against Daesh is unfortunately not finished given the repeated attacks in the recent times. In this context I am pleased to announce that this summer we have extended our advisory mission in Iraq by opening a permanent residence here in Erbil. Our team is ready to provide advice and expertise on civilian security sector to the Kurdistan Regional Government. It has started in the areas in which our support can be useful.

“I also commended the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for the generosity and responsibility you have shown and given refuge to so many persons and internally displaced people by Daesh, among them many Christians and many Yezidis. The efforts, Mr. President, are impressive. You were able to receive in six months 2 million refugees, which represents one third of the population. I don’t think there is another example of such a big effort, receiving people and helping them. I know how much it can cost and I have to praise you and the Kurdistan society for this extreme effort of solidarity. We try to support you as much as we can. Since 2019 about 240 000 people in Iraq have benefitted from the European Union management service in the camps. And we also support projects aiming to improve relationships between IDPs and local communities.

“Plus we had opportunity to talk about the regional issues of mutual interest and concern. This region is located in a very complicated neighborhood. In that context I also bear in mind the recent developments, like Afghanistan, we discussed the migration file, very important for us and the members of the European Union. President Barzani, I enjoyed this fruitful exchange on human rights also. We agreed on the importance of the freedom of expression, the media as part of a healthy democratic discourse of a vibrant civil society of fair plays and fully in line with the domestic laws and the international standards. This is the cornstone of a society, free media, fair judicial system.

“This has been my messages during the lunch with President Barzani and the political leadership of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. From now on I forsee more constructive engagement. And I hope I will have the possibility of visiting your fantastic region again.”

PM Masrour Barzani meets with Jordanian parliamentary speaker

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Sunday met with Speaker of the Jordanian Parliament, AbdulMonem al-Odat, to discuss bilateral relations and opportunities for greater regional cooperation.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his gratitude for King Abdullah and the Kingdom of Jordan for their continuous support to the Kurdistan Region, notably in the fight against terrorism.

Recognizing the Kurdistan Region’s fast growth over the years and its potential as an economic and cultural hub, both sides agreed to continue exploring ways to strengthen ties between Jordan and the Kurdistan Region.


Kurdistan Region President receives a delegation from Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP)

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, September 6, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received a delegation from the Republican People’s Party of Turkey (CHP), headed by Mr. Oğuz Kaan Salıcı, the Deputy Chairman of the party, in Erbil on Monday.

At the meeting, the guest delegation spoke about the purpose of their visit to the Kurdistan Region and shared their observations. The delegation stressed that solving the regional problems and tensions is through dialogue and understanding among peoples and communities of the region, and for this purpose, the CHP has started to apply a long term approach based on mutual respect and interchange. The delegation hoped to establish friendly relations with the Kurdistan Region and its communities based on the shared interests of the peoples of the region, and work together to resolve the problems in order to maintain regional security and stability. The guest delegation also referred to the vital role and position of the Kurdistan Region in this context.

President Nechirvan Barzani, for his part, emphasized the importance of dialogue, understanding, shared visions and finding ways to resolve the regional disputes and complexities based on mutual respect and ending denial, and described the CHP visit as a new policy for the party.

The President expressed gratitude to Turkey for continuously assisting the people of Kurdistan in times of crises. The President referred to Turkey’s support to the people of Kurdistan Region during the infamous Anfal Campaigns in 1988, as it opened its doors to the people of Kurdistan. The President reiterated that the Kurdistan Region will remain a factor of peace and stability.

Discussions also focused on the upcoming Iraqi elections, ISIS threats and future prospects in the region.

PM Masrour Barzani meets with Turkish Republican People’s Party delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Sunday met with a delegation from Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) to discuss bilateral relations and regional stability.

Prime Minister Barzani highlighted Turkey’s role as an important regional player due to the strength of its diversity and emphasised that the Kurdistan Region remains committed to working with allies in the region to promote peace and stability as well as defend pluralism and tolerance.

The Prime Minister noted he is hopeful this first visit by the CHP marks the start of closer working relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region.


Shawkat Amin Korki's The Exam wins FIPRESCI Prize in Czech Republic

 Mansour Jahani - "The Exam" film directed by Shawkat Amin Korki won the Crystal Globe Competition section of the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the International Federation of Critics Award dubbed FIPRESCI Prize in Czech Republic.


The film "Ezmûn", a joint production of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Germany and Qatar managed to won the Crystal Globe Competition section of the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the International Federation of Critics Award dubbed FIPRESCI Prize in Czech Republic.


The prize was awarded to Exam in a ceremony attended by film Director Shawkat Amin Korki, producer Mehmet Aktas, actors Avan Jamal and Vania Salar.


The members of the jury of the International Federation of Film Critics awarded the FIPRESCI prize to the film "Ezmûn", from the Crystal Globe Competition that best promotes film art and encourages new and young cinema.


At this year’s edition of Karlovy Vary IFF the FIPRESCI prize was awarded in memory of Jan Foll (1951–2021), an unmistakable persona of Czech film criticism who influenced several generations of young journalist.


The members of the jury "FIPRESCI" prize were Birgit Beumers from United Kingdom, Eirik Bull from Norway and Adéla Mrázová from the Czech Republic.


This fourth feature film of Shawkat Amin Korki is co-produced by Mitos Film in Berlin and Masti film in Sulaymaniyah. The German company ArtHood is to screen ‘The Exam’ internationally.  


For more details: 


Public Relations of feature film "The Exam".





Kurdistan Region President meets with Speaker of Jordan’s Parliament

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, August 5, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Abdul Muneim al-Odat, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Jordanian National Assembly, in Erbil on Sunday.

The meeting was attended by Kurdistan Region’s Speaker of Parliament, Vice Presidents, Deputy Speakers, and Minister of Parliament Affairs, as well as Jordan’s Ambassador to Iraq.

Discussions focused on the historic relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Kingdom of Jordan and ways to strengthen the bilateral ties. The Jordanian delegation reiterated the support of His Majesty King Abdullah II for the Kurdistan Region and expressed gratitude for the Kurdistan Region’s role in the war against ISIS and its defeat. The delegation valued the role and position of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq and the wider region in promoting stability and balance.

President Nechirvan Barzani reiterated the Kurdistan Region’s appreciation for the continuing support of His Majesty the King and the Hashemite Kingdom, both at present and during the difficult periods in the past. The President expressed the Kurdistan Region’s willingness to further expand bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Jordan in all areas of mutual cooperation.

Discussions also covered the political and security situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, partnership and cooperation between the two countries, the upcoming Iraqi elections, terror threats and confronting ISIS, COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions.

Investment and job opportunities in the Kurdistan Region, Erbil-Baghdad relations and the ongoing dialogue between them aimed at resolving the pending issues, and other topics of mutual interest were highlighted at the meeting.

France reaffirms support to the Kurdistan Region

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, August 29, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, accompanied by Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Mr. Masrour Barzani, and Kurdistan Region Speaker of Parliament, Ms. Rewaz Fayeq, received the President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and his accompanying delegation, in Erbil on Sunday.

Discussions focused on latest developments in Iraq and the wider region, the Baghdad Cooperation and Partnership Summit, which was held in Iraq’s capital and was attended by President Macron and a number of regional and neighboring leaders.

Developing Kurdistan Region’s relations with France and areas of mutual cooperation, the dangers of terrorism and threats posed by ISIS and ways to confront it, upcoming Iraqi elections, the situation in Syria and the Kurdish question in the country were highlighted.

President Macron referred to the strong relations between France and the people of Kurdistan, and reiterated his country’s continuing support to the Kurdistan Region. Mr. Macron commended the Kurdistan Region, the role of the Peshmarga and President Masoud Barzani in defeating ISIS.

At the meeting, France’s continuing support to the Kurdistan Region was affirmed and the importance of cooperation and coordination with France and the international community were underlined in finding solutions to Iraq’s problems and resolving Erbil-Baghdad disputes. France’s constructive role and efforts to maintain peace and stability were highlighted.

The status of the refugees and the displaced people, the situation of religious and ethnic communities in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, the importance of implementing the Shingal agreement, as well as efforts to help the refugees to return to their home areas were underlined.

The meeting was attended by the Kurdistan Region Vice Presidents and Deputy Prime Minister, a number of Kurdistan Region officials, head of Foreign Relations Department, Kurdistan Region Representative to France, as well as France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, a number of diplomatic and military officials and advisers, France’s Ambassador to Baghdad and France’s Consul General in the Kurdistan Region.

Following their meeting, President Nechirvan Barzani and President Emmanuel Macron held a joint press conference. The following is a readout of the press conference.

President Nechirvan Barzani:

“Good evening to all;

“We are pleased to welcome President Macron to Erbil. On behalf of the people of the Kurdistan Region I warmly welcome you Mr. President to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

“In our meeting, we discussed our mutual relations, the security and political situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, as well as the upcoming elections in Iraq. We also discussed the latest developments in the region and exchanged views and observations about future. We reiterated the need to further strengthen our relations, partnership and cooperation, and stressed the continuation of support from France to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region against ISIS.

“At this sensitive moment as Iraq prepares for its fifth elections, President Macron’s visit to Baghdad and Erbil is highly valued as it clearly signals France’s continuation of support to the democratic process in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. We highly value and appreciate this visit.

“Mr. President your role in bringing together the leaders and holding the Baghdad Summit was essential and vital. Thank you for this important initiative and for your Excellency’s support to Iraq. We hope that the outcomes of the summit bring stability and peace to Iraq and the wider region. We hope that with the continuation of your Excellency’s efforts and support the differences in the wider region are resolved.

“I greatly appreciate President Macron’s support and role in the resolution of the tensions with Baghdad in the fall of 2017 and in supporting the Kurdistan Region to restart the political and diplomatic negotiations. With his Excellency’s support, Erbil and Baghdad restarted the talks which helped restore peace and mutual understanding.

“We in Iraq need support to confront ISIS which still poses a great threat to Iraq, the region and the world. We need support to maintain stability, to strengthen democracy and to start up state institutions. We need support to continue reforms and progress, to help all communities take part in governance and administration, and to strengthen coexistence. We need support so that all communities, especially the Christians and the Yezidis experience trust and security.

“Therefore, we look forward to the continuation of cooperation and support from France as an influential partner and a permanent member of the Security Council with active role and position on the world stage in confronting terror and facing the impacts of climate change.

“Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have the potentials to become great partners with France in many areas including commerce, energy, economy, culture, academic exchange, science and other areas. French companies can contribute greatly to the development and progress of work, projects and investment opportunities with the full support from the Kurdistan Region.

“I welcome you Mr. President, once again.

“Merci beaucoup”

Then President Macron addressed the reporters and stated:

“Thank you… Thank you very much for this dialogue with your Excellency, the Speaker of Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Vice Presidents of the Region. Thank you everyone. Indeed, it was important to be with you and I am glad that I am in Erbil.

“There is a special kind of friendship between France and Kurdistan. The Kurdish people have a strong friendship with the people of France. This social and cultural relationship existed, especially when our soldiers came here and stood alongside the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi security forces, and cooperated with them, these relations became even stronger.

“I can say that our soldiers also had a good role with the Syrian Democratic Forces, and today I reiterated to President Barzani the sympathy of France and reassured him that we will continue to help in the war against ISIS, so that ISIS does not reappear on the borders of Iraq and Syria, because this war is linked to the security of the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the region and Europe too.

“The Kurdistan Region has shown generosity towards the Yazidis and Syrian refugees from Syria and from the rest of Iraq who went to the region. France was on your side in helping the displaced. France was generous in its aid, and in the coming days we will deliver government aid to the hospital for the victims of the chemical bombing of Halabja. Our coordination in this field will continue.

“Yesterday, I assured the Iraqi Prime Minister that it is necessary to direct our relations towards the interests of the people, and in particular to make every effort for the sake of the displaced and refugees here. On the issue of Sinjar, the Kurdistan Region was in contact, so we and the Iraqi government are also striving to create a ground that would contribute to the return of these people to their homes. Likewise with the Christians, we will do everything we can for their return. In the same way, we will be with you on the question of Rojava in order for these people to return to their homes. In general, it is important to create an atmosphere for reconciliation in the region. We are with stability in the region, and with achieving peace.

“It is important that the actors in the region work together for this goal, that the participants in the conference yesterday, the Iraqi Prime Minister and the rest of the officials of the countries, coordinate with interest to confront terrorism and take the role of the Kurds as well. You have an important role in this context. We were very pleased to have met today with President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

“And soon, I will meet with the Peshmerga forces. I want to assure you of France’s loyalty to you and its friends, and to the Kurds in general.

“Thank you very much.”

President Emmanuel Macron arrives in Erbil

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, August 29, 2021

The President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron arrived in the Kurdistan Region early Sunday morning and was received by the Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani during a ceremony at the Erbil International Airport.

Following the welcome ceremony, President Nechirvan Barzani accompanied President Macron to the presidential suite where Mr. Macron is staying while visiting the Kurdistan Region. The meetings will be held in Erbil on Sunday.

Statement from PM Masrour Barzani on the anniversary of the Badinan Anfal campaign

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Badinan Anfal campaign.

“As we mark the 33rd anniversary of the Badinan Anfal campaign, we honor the thousands of victims who were systematically targeted and killed in the last stages of the infamous genocidal campaign carried out by the brutal Ba’ath Regime of Iraq. Many more peaceful lives were shattered as hundreds of villages were destroyed and tens of thousands of people were forcibly displaced.

“On this solemn day, we once again call on the Iraqi government to compensate the families of the victims of Anfal. We will continue with our efforts to have this heinous act of terror recognized by the international community for what it was: An act of genocide. The Kurdistan Regional Government remains committed to getting justice for the families of Kurdistan’s martyrs and the victims of Anfal.

“May they all Rest In Peace.”

Masrour Barzani
Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government

25 Aug 2021
Page 5 of 56

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