Prime Minister Barzani opens the Grand Millennium Hotel in Slemani

Slemani, Kurdistan - ( – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani spoke at the launch of the Grand Millennium Hotel in Slemani, lauding the business community of the city and urging further investment and private sector development.

The Prime Minister said, "This is another success story in the process of developing and rebuilding the Kurdistan Region, and the private sector has played a pivotal role in this regard from the beginning." He added, "The KRG has a clear vision for the tourism sector, and tourism can be an important aspect of our economy."

Mr. Faruk Mustafa, the owner of Faruk Company responsible for the project, explained the importance of this development for the city of Slemani. Mr. Mustafa referred to the importance of forward-looking KRG policy that has promoted private sector activity and supported businesses in various sectors.

The hotel is 39 stories tall and contains 253 guest rooms, shopping halls, ballrooms, two restaurants, and a cinema. The cost of the project was reported to cost just over a quarter-billion dollars.




Prime Minister Barzani welcomes Standard Chartered to Kurdistan

Erbil, Kurdistan ( – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani welcomed the British international bank Standard Chartered to Kurdistan today at the inauguration ceremony of its Erbil branch.


Mr. Barzani outlined the need for an improved banking sector in Kurdistan. He said, “I believe the time has come for us to seriously examine international financial practices and carefully consider how modern banking can help families and businesses to manage their wealth.” He added, “I have no doubt that the presence of Standard Chartered will help us move forward in this regard.”


Mr. V. Shankar, the Standard Chartered CEO for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, said the company comes “with glitter in our eyes” and stated his optimism for the bank’s activity in the Region.


Britain’s Consul General, Mr. Hugh Evans, underlined the United Kingdom’s confidence in its mutually beneficial relationship with the Kurdistan Region, applauding KRG policy and supporting the decision by Standard Chartered to commence operations in Kurdistan. Mr. Gavin Wishart, CEO of Standard Chartered in Iraq, also spoke on behalf of the bank.





KRG conducts first ministerial visit to Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal ( – The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, led the KRG's first ministerial delegation to Portugal, meeting with a number of key officials from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Parliament and inaugurating the Business Association of Portugal - Kurdistan / Iraq. The KRG Representative to Spain, Mr. Daban Shadala, accompanied Minister Mustafa on the visit.

At the Foreign Ministry the KRG delegation was received by the Secretary of of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Luis Campos Ferreira, the Secretary of State of Portuguese Communities Abroad, Jose Cesario and the Director General for Foreign Policy, Rui Macieira. Mr. Ferreira welcomed the delegation and said, "We have a number of issues of common interest to discuss, so I am thankful for your visit to Portugal and to our Ministry." He added, "It is very important to have Portuguese companies working in Kurdistan, which is peaceful and welcoming."

Minister Mustafa expressed his pleasure in conducting the KRG's first high-level official visit to Portugal. He said, "We believe both Portugal and Kurdistan can benefit from a stronger relationship. The KRG would warmly welcome Portuguese diplomatic representation in Kurdistan, and we very much hope you consider this possibility in the near future." For his part, Mr. Ferreira urged the KRG to establish a representation office in Lisbon.

Mr. Sergio Sousa Pinto, Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, also received the delegation. Minister Mustafa emphasized the importance of international relations for the KRG, explaining, "We want to expand our relations with the international community, particularly in order to benefit from the technology and expertise of other countries. Based on this, we can build a mutually beneficial relationship."

Chairman Pinto welcomed the message, asking a number of questions regarding the progress and opportunities in Kurdistan. The KRG delegation urged the Portuguese Parliament to recognize the crimes committed against the Kurds by the former regime as genocide, and suggested a parliamentary fact-finding visit to Kurdistan to explore greater cooperation. Minister Mustafa also held a meeting with parliamentarians from several parties, promoting the establishment of an all-party parliamentary group to support Portugal's relationship with Kurdistan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a signing ceremony to officially inaugurate the newly established Business Association of Portugal - Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Association is designed to enhance future cooperation, build commercial and economic bridges, and promote partnerships among private sector entities in Portugal and Kurdistan. The ceremony was attended by Minister Mustafa, Mr. Cesario, Mr. Shadala, and a representative from the Iraqi Embassy in Lisbon.








Kurdistan Noyee Newspaper Talked with Nazem Dabbagh, the Representative of Kurdistan Region in Tehran

Mr. Dabbagh, the Representative of Kurdistan Region in a talk with Kurdistan Noyee Newspaper in Tehran stated the plan made in a special way for Islamic Revolution was conducted successfully. By this year, it is 35 years that Imam Khomeini returned Tehran, however it has changed the way of people’s living; concerning this the Representative of Kurdistan Region government in Tehran in talk with Kurdistan Noyee Newspaper mentioned the plan made in a special way for Islamic Revolution was conducted successfully.

Mr. Nazem Dabbagh continued to say the royal regime oppressed compatriot of his land; there was no freedom, instead admiring Shah was a top priority. In addition signing the Algeria contract made him proud and delighted; these all caused Iranian nation together with all tribes and religious supported and encouraged joined a protesting and remonstrative movement formed against dominance and –ruling of the time. The plan made in special way for the Islamic Revolution was conducted successfully. Therefore the purposes of the revolution caused few regional countries’ dissatisfaction and concern, though at last it reached many accomplishments and the Islamic Republic government of Iran was established.

About Iranian Kurds in Islamic Revolution, He said the role of Iranian Kurds and all other religions in this historic and dominant event was clear, so Kurds of Iran played special role in this Revolution’s success and was a part of the Revolution and popular opposition. The reason was Iranian nation detested being oppressed.

The representative of Kurdistan region declared in general Islamic Republic of Iran caused once again the gate development and improvement was opened to liberty movement of Iraq Kurdistan and changed to an important entrance through which we could have freely commute to Iran and took measures in order revive our nation’s absolute right.

At the end of talk, Mr. Nazem Dabbagh about Dr. Ruhani’s promises to Iranian tribes and religions in presidential election of Iran stated: after Dr. Ruhani became the president of Iran he selected his high advisor for this case so this action itself is a step toward make his promises for Iranian tribes and religions; a few days ago Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the leader of Isalmic Republic of Iran, in his phrase declared to give more chance to Dr. Ruhani in order to make his promises in presidential elections.










Kurdistan region President Barzani Meets French Foreign Ministry Official

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( - Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today met with director of Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry, Mr. Jean-François Girault.

The meeting between the President and the French official focused on bilateral relations, the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, the impact of Syrian conflict on Iraq, and disputes between Erbil and Baghdad over budget and energy exports.

Mr. Girlaut hailed the stability and economic developments in Kurdistan and added that this progress in such a volatile and problematic region is remarkable. He expressed his hope that the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections would lead to a resolution of the problems facing the country.

President Barzani said his is pleased with the status of the KRG relations with France and hoped that these ties will continue to grow.

On disputes between Baghdad and Erbil, the President said that the source of the problems in Iraq is lack of adherence to the constitution and monopolization of power. As a result, he said, Iraq is far from a proper state, and its people suffer from lack of security and lack of basic services.

The President expressed his hope that after the new elections in April, there would be prospects for the resolution of the problems facing Iraq.





President Barzani Meets Turkey’s New Ambassador to Iraq

Salahadin,Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani welcomed Turkey's new ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Farouq Qaemakchi at his office in Salahadin today. During the meeting the President and the Turkish Ambassador discussed bilateral relations and exchanged their views on the latest developments in Iraq.

Ambassador Qaemakchi stated his optimism on the situation and hoped for a brighter future for Iraq and continued brotherly relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region. The Ambassador made note of what he described as the "historic" visit to Diyarbakir by the President last November and said that that visit "broke a number of barriers."

President Barzani wished him success at his new post and hoped for a continuation of the good relations between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey.

On the dispute with Baghdad over energy exports, the President stated that the KRG energy policy is completely in line with the Iraqi constitution and that the KRG has the right to develop its energy sector.

He attributed the current political and security problems to the wrong policies of the rulers of Iraq. He also criticized the Iraqi government's decision to withhold the KRG share of the budget, including the salaries of KRG staff, saying that this amounts to a declaration of war on the people of the Kurdistan Region.




President Barzani Receives Syrian National Council Delegation

Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( President Masoud Barzani received a Syrian National Council delegation at his office in Salahadin today. The delegation was headed by the President of SNC, Mr. George Sabra who expressed his appreciation for the Kurdistan Region's continuous support for the Syrian people, especially the official position of support for the people of Syria and the reception of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region.

Mr. Sabra went on to state that the purpose of their visit, aside from conveying the messages of gratitude from the people of Syria, is to discuss the latest developments in Syria.

President Barzani welcomed the delegation and reiterated his support for the SNC and the cause of the Syrian people. He urged the delegation to remain united with their other Syrian brothers for the sake of solidifying their message. President Barzani also stated that the Kurdistan Region will continue with its support of the Syrian refugees here in the Region.

On the role if Syrian Kurds, the President said that Kurds have been deprived of their basic rights in Syrian and that in the future their rights must be guaranteed.  

The President and the Syrian delegation also discussed the outcome of the Geneva II conference held last month.

Kurdistan Region President Meets Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met Iran’s Ambassador to Iraq Hasan Danayifer in his office in Salahaddin.

The President and the Iranian ambassador discussed bilateral relations, political and security developments in Iraq and their effect on the region and neighboring countries. Both sides hailed the good relations that exist between the two sides and expressed hope that these ties will further strengthen





President Barzani Meets Syrian Kurdish National Council

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with leaders and representatives of 12 Syrian Kurdish parties that are part of the Kurdish National Council.

In this meeting, the attendants briefed the President about the latest developments in the Syrian Kurdistan and their activities in the Kurdish National Council. As per an agreement reached in December of 2013, the Kurdish National Council and the Kurdish People’s Council would have joint control of the Pishkhabor border crossing, but now the border is controlled only by the Kurdish People’s Council.

President Barzani reiterated his backing for a unified position among the Syrian Kurdish parties, and he would support any decisions made by consensus by all sides.





President of the Kurdistan Region Meets German FM Steinmeier in Berlin

Berlin, Germany ( – The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, met the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin yesterday.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomed President Barzani to Germany and spoke about his visit to Erbil back in 2008, highlighting his desire to visit Kurdistan again soon. He added that he was aware of the rapid developments happening in Kurdistan and reiterated Germany’s commitment to working closely with Kurdistan to further strengthen bilateral relations.

For his part, President Barzani expressed his pleasure at the opportunity of once again meeting Foreign Minister Steinmeier and expressed his hope that the Foreign Minister would indeed visit Kurdistan again soon to witness first-hand the developments in the region. He added that the Kurdistan Region views its ties with Germany with great importance.

President Barzani, briefed Minister Steinmeier on the current situation in Kurdistan, the recent security developments in the Anbar province, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections in April, the issue of oil exports via Turkey and the impact of the Syrian crisis on Kurdistan and on Iraq.

On the political challenges facing Iraq and especially the security crisis in the Anbar province, the President said, “It is important that a comprehensive solution is found for the problems facing Iraq, and the real solution is for Iraq to be committed to a federal system, which is a basic principle in Iraq’s constitution.”

“It is equally important that all sides work together in the fight against terrorism, especially at a time when they have increasingly grown in strength and now constitute a real threat to the whole region.” He highlighted the roots of the security problems in Anbar and some of the other Iraqi provinces and said that this has become a source of instability to all Iraq.

The President stressed the importance that all political groups in Iraq remain committed to holding the parliamentary elections on time, scheduled in late April this year.

On the KRG policy of exporting oil via Turkey, the President reiterated that ties between Kurdistan and Turkey are based on mutual interests, and that these ties would also serve the interest of Iraq in general. In addition he highlighted the legality of the Kurdistan Region's hydrocarbon policies which are in adherence with Iraq’s constitution.

Finally both sides discussed the latest regarding the formation of a new government in Kurdistan with President Brazani emphasizing that the priorities for Kurdistan are to maintain its security and to continue developing the Region and its economic infrastructure to improve the standards of living for all the people of the region.

The meeting was also attended by the President’s Chief of Staff, Dr Fuad Hussein, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa and the KRG Representative to Germany, Dilshad Barzani.








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