Prime Minister Barzani receives Azerbaijan’s Charge d'affaires

On Wednesday, June 7, 2023, Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), received Nasir Mammadov, Charge d'affaires of the Azerbaijan Embassy in Iraq.

The meeting primarily aimed to strengthen the ties between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

During the conversation, Mr. Mammadov emphasised his country's commitment to enhancing relations with the Kurdistan region and revealed plans to establish a General Consulate of Azerbaijan in Erbil in the near future.

Prime Minister Barzani confirmed the Kurdistan region's eagerness to foster and expand relations between the two peoples.

Prime Minister receives the Ambassador of Sweden to Iraq

On Monday, June 5, 2023, Masrour Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), welcomed Ms. Jessica Svärdström, the Ambassador of Sweden to Iraq, in a meeting that covered several topical issues.

The discussions focussed on the overall situation in Iraq, with an emphasis on strengthening bilateral ties between the Kurdistan Region and Sweden. In particular, the Prime Minister stressed the significance of upholding the agreement between the KRG and the Iraqi federal government, which guarantees the Kurdistan Region's financial entitlements and constitutional rights.

The meeting also covered the internal affairs of the Kurdistan Region, particularly the upcoming parliamentary election. The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of adhering to the scheduled timeline for the election.

The Swedish Ambassador commended the progress made in construction and development within the Kurdistan Region, particularly in its capital, Erbil, despite the numerous obstacles and challenges faced.

Furthermore, the two sides discussed the enhancement of women's rights in the Kurdistan Region, and policies enacted by the KRG to provide equal opportunities for women across all aspects of life.

Mansour Jahani in Interview with France 24: Prominent Iranian Filmmakers Introduced to World Through Cannes International Film Festival

The independent international cinema news reporter, Mansour Jahani, has said in an interview with France 24, "The Cannes International Film Festival has introduced most of the prominent Iranian filmmakers to the world." 


In an interview with the television channel France 24, Mansour Jahani said, "France's Cannes International Film Festival, as the most prestigious cinematic event in the world, has always dedicated special attention to the cinema of Iran, bestowing a unique status to it. The most prominent Iranian filmmakers such as the late Abbas Kiarostami with his masterpiece The Taste of Cherry won the Palme d'Or, and other well-known directors namely, Asghar Farhadi, Jafar Panahi, Bahman Ghobadi, Mohammad Rasoulof, etc. were introduced to the international audience after attending Cannes and earning awards in different competition categories."  


"Each year, the latest significant films of Iranian cinema are featured in this prestigious cinematic event, and film lovers and enthusiasts of the art, journalists, critics, and cinema screenwriters, and overall, the cast and crew of global cinema sit to watch them for the first time, later to be assessed and judged by the jury of the competition category," Jahani commented on the participation of notable works of Iranian filmmakers in various editions of Cannes.   


Mansour Jahani concluded his words by saying, "The Cannes International Film Festival is the foremost prestigious cinematic window in the world that is open to Iranian cinema, and this invaluable and brilliant collaboration will continue in the next editions, just as it did in the former rounds."

President Nechirvan Barzani arrives in Ankara

Ankara. Turkey, June 3, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani arrived in Ankara on Saturday afternoon at an official invitation to attend the inauguration ceremony of Turkey’s President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for a new term in office.

President Nechirvan Barzani will join world leaders to take part in the inauguration ceremony, and to attend a dinner to be held on the occasion of President Erdogan’s swearing-in ceremony.

KRG Prime Minister welcomes Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahanun Al-Nahyan

On Monday, May 29th, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, received Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahanun bin Mohammed Al-Nahyan.

The meeting, which was also attended by Ahmed Al-Zahiri, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Kurdistan Region, focused on the strong and special relationship between the Kurdistan Region and the UAE. Both parties emphasised the importance of cooperation and coordination across various fields.

President Nechirvan Barzani congratulates President Erdogan on reelection

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, May 31, 2022

President Nechirvan Barzani congratulated Turkey’s President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his reelection.

In a phone call on Wednesday, President Nechirvan Bazrani also wished President Erdogan, the people and government of Turkey success, and expressed the Kurdistan Region’s keenness to develop relations with Turkey in all areas.

For his part, President Erdogan thanked the Kurdistan Region President for his congratulatory call and reaffirmed his country’s desire to further strengthen relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and invited President Nechirvan Barzani to his swearing-in ceremony in Ankara.

The two sides also discussed the situation in the wider region and other issues of common interest.

President Nechirvan Barzani: People are tired and unhappy with the political conflicts

Dohuk, Kurdistan Region, May 28, 2023

His Excellency President Masoud Barzani, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Masrour Barzani, the Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives Mohammed al-Halbousi, a number of government and party officials, representatives of countries and academics attended the fifth graduation ceremony of the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok Sunday evening.

The following is a readout of the speech delivered by President Nechirvan Barzani:

Your Excellency President Masoud Barzani,
Your Excellency Mr. Mohammed Al-Halbusi, Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament
Mr. Sheikh Khalifa Tahnoon
We are pleased to have you with us at this ceremony.

Dear relatives of the graduates,
Dear attendees,

I am pleased to be with you in this year’s graduation ceremony of American University of Kurdistan in Duhok. I warmly congratulate the graduates and wish them further success.

I congratulate the parents, families of the graduates, the teachers, the presidency and the board of trustees of the university. You have fulfilled a great and sacred duty. God bless and thank you.

Dear friends,
The graduation of another class of young people from Kurdistan and Iraq, or from anywhere else, is a source of pride and joy. You, dear graduates, have acquired new and modern knowledge. Now you are ready for another stage of life, which is the stage of work, service, participation and active partnership in the development of the country and society.

The country expects you to play your part. Each of you should innovate in your own field and create job opportunities for yourselves and those around you with new and constructive ideas. Work successfully to develop, strengthen and diversify the economy.

Provide successful scientific and professional ideas and views to find solutions to the country’s problems and crises in all areas. To improve the standard of living and society and move to a better future.

You must work together and coordinate with your colleagues and counterparts in other universities in Kurdistan, Iraq and the world. Benefit from each other’s knowledge. Build bridges with the authorities and the country’s administration with innovative ideas, suggestions and constructive criticism. Participate in better governance of the country, so that together we can build a stronger Kurdistan and a better future for our generations.

You and the new generation of Kurdistan must make the most of modern technology and scientific progress. You can develop working remotely, at home, with companies, private and public sectors in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and even abroad and in addition to finding job opportunities, thereby becoming a good ambassador for your country around the world.

It is now work, duty and responsibility. When you start working, you must put all your abilities to work responsibly and professionally according to work ethic. Innovate and ensure its development and success. To do this, you must always work with an open mind and constantly make changes for the better.

There are successful examples of university and college graduates. They have established their own jobs and created job opportunities for others. This is a source of hope and joy. We are proud to see our youth trying with high desire and determination and prove themselves in any field of work and service. They feel responsible and accountable.

Life is always progressing and changing. As long as you live, you must constantly learn and update with the latest developments. From this point of view, as a very important priority, the Kurdistan Region must always pay special attention to the quality and scientific level and renewal of curricula. We must always keep pace with developments in order to remain a vibrant society and join the advanced world.

Dear students,
I’m sure each of you has dozens of different ideas for each area of life. For the economy, for work, for politics, for management. Each of you dreams of becoming prominent in your field. I want to assure you that with your efforts, perseverance and determination to succeed, just as you succeeded today and graduated from university, you can make your ideas and dreams come true with the same spirit of determination, perseverance and effort.

Therefore, I would like to tell you and all graduates of Kurdistan universities and colleges: Do not rely only on working in the public sector. Just as you have proven yourselves in education, you can prove yourselves in creating job opportunities and innovation. For this, you must cooperate with the market and the private sector and the Kurdistan Regional Government will undoubtedly support you.

Dear participants,
Everyone is aware that following the agreement of the State Administration Coalition to form a federal Iraqi government, a kind of political stability has emerged in the country. The Iraqi people in general and our friends around the world are looking forward to the positive consequences of this agreement and have placed their hopes on it for a better future.

It is a matter of deep concern and disappointment if some parties try to obstruct the agreements and the understanding between the parties. This kind of treatment and attempts to violate the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region, is never acceptable and will not benefit any party and Iraq and the political stability of the country. This is only a repetition of a failed experiment that has always ended to the detriment of Iraq and all its communities. Therefore, I call on all parties to abide by the agreements and protect the political process and stability of the country.

The right way to overcome the problems and crises in Iraq is to adhere to agreements and understandings between the parties in general and the parties of the State Administration Coalition in particular. An Iraq that brings us all together must be one in which all constitutional rights of all communities are protected and respected. History has proved this and we must all learn lessons from the past.

Both in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, people are tired of and unhappy with political problems and conflicts. We need to reflect on ourselves and put the highest interests of the country above everything else. Only through unity, mutual acceptance and solidarity can we protect the federal structure and constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region and move towards a better future.

Finally, dear graduates, I congratulate you once again and wish you more success in your future life, work and duties. You and all other Kurdish youth who graduate from any university and college are our future leaders, and source of pride and hope for the country.

Good evening and have a nice time everyone.

Thank you very much

A Review of Maestro Shahram Nazeri's Performance at International Conference for Feyli Kurds' Genocide in Erbil


Hamidreza Atefi, journalist and a member of the board of directors at Music Researchers' Association, has penned a review called "One Pain Equivalent to A Thousand Treatments" on Maestro Shahram Nazeri's performance at the international conference commemorating the anniversary of Feyli Kurds' Genocide.

The international scientific conference commemorating the 43rd anniversary of Feyli Kurds' Genocide consisted of lectures and attendance by prominent political, scientific, and cultural figures from the Kurdistan Region as well as different countries; the event was held by Salahaddin University of Erbil, Duhok, and Soran, featuring the Iranian tenor Maestro Shahram Nazeri accompanied with the Sanyar Ensemble which is led by Farid Elhami, and was held on 2-5 May, 2023, at Sa'd Abdullah Hall of Erbil, Kurdistan Region. Representatives of various institutions, university professors, political and cultural figures, as well as high-ranking Kurdish and non-Kurdish executives were present at this conference and said some words about this horrendous catastrophe. Mentioning the dimensions of the ruthless genocide of the 80s that resulted in the destruction of hundreds of villages that were populated by the Kurds, and massacring tens of thousands of innocent people, each lecturer condemned the sad incident.

Holding these events on an international scale will have tremendous and lasting impact on the enlightenment of public opinion and is the best and most civil way to prevent future catastrophes of the like.

Undoubtedly, it is only through cultural growth and the elevation of thought and the propagation of human sciences that one can hope for a brighter future accompanied with the peace and prosperity of human societies, and the cultural executives of Kurdistan Region have grasped the significance of this factor that there is no greater power than cultural strength as a fundamental infrastructure for the growth and expansion of all important aspects of government such as economy, politics, and other social sciences.  

However, while holding the conference, another noteworthy event occurred which was quite thought-provoking and that was the performance of Kurdish music by the Sanyar Ensemble led by Farid Elhami, and sang by Shahram Nazeri.  

The piece "The Rapture of Pain" (Shur-e Dard) was chosen to be performed at the anniversary of Feyli Kurds' Genocide, and it was masterfully presented. The music agenda of the conference was secured on short notice, and performing this song which holds much relevance and weight as if it was originally written for such an event was admirable. 

"The Rapture of Pain" is a song by Shahram Nazeri in Majnuni Maqam, released years before and arranged by Alireza Feiz Bashipour on the album "Mythical Chant" and had not been performed in any concerts of Iran. 

The impressive lyrics written by Seyyed Saleh Mahidashti eulogizing a dearly departed is very beautiful and in fact the vocabulary used are quite visual. The burning body of a survivor who has taken to the wilderness due to the tyranny of the times, shouting in pain out of missing his beloved and homeland, calling it some sort of artistic lament may not be a far-fetched idea. This heavenly voice and the sadness of that melody, with the mesmerizing arrangement of Farid Elhami, and the extraordinary and masterful performance of Shahram Nazeri, penetrates each singular cell of the listeners', filling the Sa'd Abdullah Hall with a meaningful silence. As the poets would say, the musical waves passed from the root of teeth to the depths of the soul in the audiences.

"The Rapture of Pain" revived the agony of Kurds' Genocide after 35 years in the very being of the audience, enticing such frenzy that cannot be put into words.

Another segment of the performance was presented by Sanyar Ensemble, without Shahram Nazeri, to perform the mourning music of Feyli Kurds. The beautiful lyrics of Behrouz Taheri was accompanied by the thousands-year-old sounds of Houreh and Mour, in such a subtle and masterful manner that for a couple of minutes took the breath of the audience away. Showing the archived footage of Feyli Genocide that were taken from the personal collection of the Kurdish researcher Ms. Edalat Omar, edited by Farid Elhami, visualized the depth of pain and sadness caused by this traumatic event for foreign viewers.     


The Sanyar Ensemble includes the following figures:

Farid Elhami – leader, singer, and Tanbur player

Saber Nazargahi – Divan 

Farnoud Elhami – Tanbur

Amin Heidari – Oud

Ehsan Abdipour – Kamancheh & Sorna

Nabil Yusef Sheridavi – Daf

Sepehr Zonnouri – Tanbur

Saeed Emami – Percussion instruments

Samaneh Nikkerdar – Percussion instruments

Ghazaleh Shirazi – Cello

Saba Mohammadi – Song

Sarvenaz Atefi – Tanbur

Diana Moradi – Tanbur





Prime Minister receives the Duchess of Edinburgh in Erbil

On Tuesday, May 23, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, warmly welcomed Her Royal Highness Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh.

Attending the meeting were the British Ambassador to Iraq and the UK's Consul General in Erbil. Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the exceptional and amicable relations between the Kurdistan Region and the United Kingdom, expressing gratitude for the UK's unwavering support in various areas, notably in the fight against terrorism.

During the meeting, the Duchess of Edinburgh elaborated on the purpose of her visit, outlining her plans and objectives. She emphasised the importance of advancing the rights of women and children, particularly in areas affected by conflict, such as the Yezidi community who have suffered greatly under the oppressive regime of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). There was a special focus on fostering a culture that upholds human rights, with an emphasis on protecting the rights of women and children.

Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed the Kurdistan Regional Government's commitment to promoting gender equality and combatting all forms of discrimination and violence against women.

The discussion also revolved around the harmonious coexistence among different ethnic and religious groups within the Kurdistan Region, as well as the enhancement of the education system's quality and accessibility for children and women.

A statement from the President of the Kurdistan Region

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, May 26, 2023

We are deeply concerned about the changes introduced to those passages of the Iraqi budget draft that relate to the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region, and we categorically reject them. These changes create an obstacle to the budget draft which covers the next three fiscal years, and which all Iraqis hope to see approved.

Commitment to the political agreement of the State Administration Coalition is the basis of political peace and stability in Iraq and the right step towards a better future for the country and all its communities. Breaching the understandings and the agreements, and attempting to violate the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region is completely contrary to national responsibility and will lead to nothing but disappointment, destabilization of the political situation in the country, and harming the whole of Iraq.

Past experiences have proved that, to rule with the logic of power and violating the rights and entitlements of Iraqi communities have never brought peace and stability to the country. Therefore, we call on all parties, especially the parties of State Administration Coalition, to be committed to the agreements, as all of us need to act responsibly. Additionally, the Kurdistani parties must stand united to defend our constitutional rights.

We reiterate that the Kurdistan Region is committed to resolving all issues on the basis of the Constitution. The experience of the past few months of working together, the understanding and solidarity among the Iraqi forces and parties, and implementing the agreement to form the federal government were a source of joy for the Iraqi people and their friends; therefore, we must move in that direction and not allow the agreements to be misapplied, and avoid complicating the situation.

Nechirvan Barzani
The President of the Kurdistan Region

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