KRG Prime Minister receives Patriarch Mar Georges III Younan

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) received Mar Georges III Younan, the newly appointed Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East, on Saturday, June 24, 2023.

Prime Minister Barzani congratulated Patriarch Mar Georges III Younan on his appointment and reaffirmed the KRG's dedication to peaceful coexistence among the diverse communities in the Kurdistan Region.

The Patriarch commended the safeguarding of Christian rights in the Kurdistan Region, expressing gratitude for the ongoing support extended by the KRG to the Christian community.

President Nechirvan Barzani and German Minister of State for Foreign Affairs discuss bilateral relations

Berlin, Germany, June 26, 2023

Continuing his meetings in Berlin, President Nechirvan Barzani met with German Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tobias Lindner on Monday.

In the meeting, the President commended the strong relations of Germany with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and highlighted the constructive outcomes of the recent visit by the Iraqi Prime Minister to Berlin. The President also called on Germany to continue to support Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in maintaining peace and stability in the country and in confronting the threat of ISIS.

For his part, Mr. Lindner reiterated Germany’s commitment to assist and support Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and stressed the continuation of the mission of German forces in Iraq within the framework of the international coalition against ISIS.

The meeting, also attended by Iraq’s Ambassador to Berlin, focused on the internal situation in the Kurdistan Region, the upcoming general elections, and the latest developments in the wider region.

Prime Minister: KRG to build new dams across the region

On Thursday, June 24, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) attended the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Bastora Dam in Erbil governorate. During his speech, PM Barzani emphasised the project's significance and highlighted the importance of water for various aspects of development, including industry, energy supply, agriculture, human well-being, and environment.

The Prime Minister's presence and remarks demonstrated the government's unwavering commitment to the project and its positive impact on Bastora and the surrounding area. Here is a summary of PM Barzani's speech:

"The primary advantage of the dam lies in its ability to store water for drinking, agriculture, tourism, and investment in fishponds, which will greatly benefit the people of the region. As part of the KRG's strategy, we aim to construct dams to ensure food security.

“The government has decided to build as many dams as possible throughout the region. We are pleased to note that some of these projects have already been built, while others are currently being designed and constructed. Once these dams are completed, they will play a crucial role in advancing the agricultural sector and serve as a source of energy. Their construction will significantly impact the region's development and economic stability.

“Water is a vital and valuable economic resource, and it is our collective responsibility to avoid its wastage. Dams such as Dukan and Darbandikhan in the Kurdistan Region have not only benefited our region but also the entire country of Iraq. Therefore, we hope that the federal government of Iraq will support the KRG in the repair and maintenance of these dams and extend their assistance for the ongoing dam construction projects.

“I commend the company involved in the Bastora Dam project, and I hope that it will be completed on time, adhering to the specified high-quality standards. Lastly, the KRG is committed to supporting similar projects across all parts of the Kurdistan Region."

President Nechirvan Barzani and State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany discuss mutual cooperation

Berlin, Germany, June 26, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani met with State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany, Mrs. Franziska Brantner, in Berlin today.

At the meeting, also attended by the Iraqi Ambassador to Berlin, the two sides discussed the challenges facing Iraq, including climate change, water scarcity, drought and desertification, which necessitate international assistance, expertise and support for Iraq to address their impacts.

Both sides also agreed on the importance of a comprehensive plan to meet these challenges in Iraq. They also stressed the need and importance of assisting Iraq, especially in the field of renewable energy and reduction of reliance on oil, and encouraging the private sector and German investments in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

President Nechirvan Barzani meets with a high-level US delegation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, June 21, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani received a high-level US delegation led by Ms. Dana Stroul, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, accompanied by General Matthew McFarlane, Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, and diplomats and officials from the US Department of Defense, the US Embassy in Baghdad and the US Consulate General in Erbil.

The meeting discussed US relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, Erbil-Baghdad relations and their ongoing talks to resolve their differences, the latest developments in the fight against ISIS, the reforms of the Ministry of Peshmarga Affairs, and the efforts to unite and reorganize the Peshmerga forces.

Both sides agreed that ISIS is still a threat in Iraq and Syria and stressed the importance of continued joint cooperation to combat the threat of ISIS and to preserve the current security gains. In this regard, the guest delegation reiterated the continued US support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Both sides stressed the need to exert greater efforts to complete the reform process and reorganize and reunite the Peshmerga. The US delegation thanked President Nechirvan Barzani for his efforts and active role in the process, and reaffirmed the continued support of the United States for the process. The delegation also conveyed the greetings of the US Secretary of Defense to the Kurdistan Region President.

The meeting was also attended by the Peshmerga Chief of Staff, and a number of other officials of the Kurdistan Region.

KRG Prime Minister Barzani meets with the head of UNAMI

On Wednesday, June 21, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Jeanine Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The meeting focussed on current issues within the Kurdistan Region. Both parties agreed on the urgent need to hold parliamentary elections in the region as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of avoiding any further delays in the elections, and emphasised that this democratic process must not be compromised or undermined by any group's self-interest.

In addition, the discussions also encompassed the latest developments in Iraq, including the constitutional rights and financial entitlements of the Kurdistan Region.

KRG Prime Minister Barzani meets with President Erdogan

On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Türkiye in Ankara.

At the start of the meeting, Prime Minister Barzani extended his congratulations to President Erdogan on his victory in the recent elections and conveyed his sincere hopes for the success of the new Turkish government.

During the meeting, which was also attended by Türkiye's newly appointed Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, the two leaders engaged in discussions about the overall situation in Iraq and the wider region. Additionally, they emphasised the significance of enhancing the relationship between the Kurdistan Region and the Republic of Türkiye.

Both parties agreed on the importance of strengthening bilateral relations and expanding opportunities for cooperation and coordination, with a specific focus on regional security and stability. They highlighted economy and trade as particularly promising areas for collaboration.



President Nechirvan Barzani receives the Ambassador of the Netherlands

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, June 21, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani received today in Erbil Mr. Hans Sandee, the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Iraq.

The meeting discussed the bilateral relations of the Netherlands with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the latest developments in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the wider region, and the situation of refugees hosted in the camps across the country.

The President congratulated the new Ambassador on assuming the office, wished him success, and expressed the support of the Kurdistan Region for his work and mission. The President also thanked the Netherlands for its support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, especially in the field of diversification of economic resources, and development in agriculture.

For his part, the Ambassador of the Netherlands stressed that his country is committed to peace and stability in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as an important and federal region, and also reiterated that the Netherlands will continue to support the stability of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Ambassador Sandee commended the Kurdistan Region’s support to the refugees.

The meeting, also attended by the Consul General of the Netherlands, discussed the human rights situation, the work of NGOs in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and other issues of common interest.

KRG Prime Minister receives a delegation from US Chamber of Commerce

On Monday, June 19, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Steve Lutes, Vice President of Middle East Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce. Accompanied by a delegation from the Chamber and Irvin Hicks, the US Consul General in the Kurdistan Region, the meeting aimed to strengthen ties between the two sides.

Mr. Lutes began by providing an overview of the Chamber's objectives for their visit to the region. He introduced the members of the delegation, which included representatives from various US agricultural companies.

Expressing his appreciation, Prime Minister Barzani conveyed gratitude for the United States' dedication to fostering stronger relations with the Kurdistan Region through the private sector. He emphasised that the KRG's ninth cabinet has prioritised reform plans focussing on economic diversification, agricultural development, building a robust economic infrastructure, implementing a modernised banking system, and digitalising public sector services.

Prime Minister Barzani placed significant emphasis on the agricultural sector’s vital role. He expressed his government's steadfast commitment to transforming the Kurdistan Region into a thriving agricultural and commercial hub, ensuring long-term food security and sustainability.

In conclusion, the Prime Minister extended an invitation to US companies, urging them to increase their investments in the Kurdistan Region, particularly in the promising fields of renewable energy and banking. He reassured them that the KRG would actively assist and facilitate foreign investment, ensuring a conducive and supportive environment for their operations.

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's Speech for Countering Hate Speech Conference in Erbil

Ladies and gentlemen,


Dear guests,


I would like to welcome you and I thank the organizers for this gathering to mark the International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

Throughout the history of humanity, hate speech and the incitement of violence have led to tragedies. At this time, which is the era of progress and technology, we still face such challenges, and the effects are consequential. We see war and bloodshed continue in many countries and regions of the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As stated in the conference title, Kurdistan has always been a cradle of peaceful coexistence. For thousands of years, this region has embraced different nations, religions, and beliefs; coexistence and tolerance have become part of our culture and way of life. In most parts of Kurdistan, Kurds, Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and Jews lived together and helped each other in difficult times. I am from a village that had mosques, churches, and synagogues. I am always proud of this history and will do my best to preserve and promote this beautiful culture.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As a place where all nations, religions, and faiths have felt peaceful and at home, the Kurdistan Region has been under the threat of hostile ideology, attempting to disrupt this culture of coexistence. Genocides have been committed against the nations and religions of Kurdistan.

Our recent history is a testament to the genocide and tragedies we have faced because of chauvinistic and hostile ideology and the denial of our existence. Annihilation, demolition, genocide, Anfal, and chemical bombardment were the result of an ideology that denied equality, justice, and recognition of the rights of other nations.

Today, many of Kurdistan's aggressors are gone, but we remain because of the preservation of this culture of coexistence. We all know that during the September Revolution, despite all the killings committed against our fellow citizens, General Mustafa Barzani did not allow the conflict to become a fight between Kurds and Arabs. He always stated that the battle was against authoritarian regimes, not any nation. During the uprising, only three years after the Anfal genocide and chemical attacks, thousands of Iraqi soldiers were captured in the Kurdistan Region. President Barzani ordered that they must be respected and protected.

We will always preserve this beautiful culture, and our message will be one of empathy, peaceful coexistence, and respect for equality and justice. We will not allow ideas of violence to be imported into our region. Unfortunately, history has not been a lesson to some, and there are still attempts to spread authoritarian and chauvinistic ideology.

We have made significant compromises to establish a federal, democratic Iraq. We have made full effort to create a new Iraq in which all its components feel represented, and their rights protected. Unfortunately, we see that this has not been the path that Iraq is following, rather it is being taken in a direction that is a repetition of the bitter experiences of the past.

It is regrettable to see attempts being made to violate our constitutional rights and to hear hate speech against the Kurdistan Region. The misinformation published and the misleading narrative that is spread, which portrays the development of the Kurdistan Region as having been made at the expense of other parts of Iraq, should not be the way to hide corruption, mismanagement, and waste of public wealth.

In the years when Iraq was going through a sectarian war, the Kurdistan Region became a haven for all sides. All the tribes that were enemies in other parts of Iraq became neighbours in the Kurdistan Region. During the war against ISIS terrorists, hundreds of thousands of people from other parts of Iraq fled to the Kurdistan Region. Many of them are still not ready to leave the camps and return to their homes because they still feel threatened.

We are proud to have a culture of coexistence and we should all strive to advance these principles. We call on the people and leaders of other parts of Iraq to prevent the spread of ideas of violence and rejection of each other and to learn from Iraq's bloodstained history. Let us all work together to establish peace and stability. Let us become an example for the elimination of hatred, war and bloodshed, not only in our region and Iraq but also throughout the wider region and around the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In conclusion, I emphasise that adhering to the Iraqi Constitution is the only guarantee of stability and the protection of the rights of all Iraqi citizens. Kurdistan and its people have suffered from many attempts at genocide such as Anfal, chemical bombardment, the taking of our lands, forced displacement, and the erasure our national identity. Therefore, and in accordance with the Constitution, we demand compensation for the oppression that has been inflicted on our people.

Our problems are not just salaries and finance, most of our constitutional rights have been ignored. The most telling example is that until now in Kirkuk and its surrounding areas, Kurdish and Turkish farmers are threatened and their lands are being invaded. They want to reduce our rights to just finance and salaries and then use this issue against us.

I ask the authorities in Baghdad to respect the Constitution and to learn from history. What we can achieve with peace and stability will not be achieved through war, oppression, and persecution.

I call on the citizens of Kurdistan and the political parties of the region to not forget the struggles and sacrifices of our people, and not lose our shared values under any pressure and for any narrow benefit. I call on them to continue to develop our culture of coexistence and respect the sacred values we hold dear, to secure a strong and prosperous homeland.

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