Deloitte report on Oil and Gas review in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region – Q1 to Q3 of 2020

 The KRG’s Regional Council of Oil and Gas Affairs has published a report containing verified statistics covering the Kurdistan Region’s oil exports, consumption and revenues for period 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

The report, available in Kurdish, English and Arabic, provides a quarterly analysis of oil export information and average prices.

The data verification was performed by Deloitte.

Transparency being central to the cabinet agenda, the KRG regularly assesses what additional disclosures would enhance the transparency of its oil and gas sector. Accordingly, from 2019 the KRG started providing information on the prepayment balances it owes to oil traders and in 2020 disclosures are further extended to include reconciliation between production and exports and local consumptions.

The Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs acknowledges the positive feedback received so far from domestic and international stakeholders. The council reiterates its commitment to the people of Kurdistan that Deloitte will continue to independently review the region's oil and gas sector.

Reports containing verified statistics can be found in KurdishEnglish and Arabic. A frequently asked questions handbook (also available in KurdishEnglish and Arabic) will help readers to understand the report's contents.

15 Jan 2021

 https://gov.krd/english/news-and-announcements/posts/2021/january/deloitte-report-on-oil-and-gas-review-in-the-iraqi-kurdistan-region-q1-to-q3-of-2020/

President Nechirvan Barzani receives Commander of the Iraq Air Force

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, January 13, 2021

President Nechirvan Barzani received General Shihab Jahid Zangana and congratulated him on his promotion to Commander of the Iraq Air Force and wished him success.

President Barzani reaffirmed the importance of the Iraqi military as a national force confronting terrorism to defend and safeguard the country. He offered his congratulations to the Iraq Army on the 100th anniversary of its foundation.

 

Prime Minister Barzani chairs meeting of Supreme Economic Council to discuss 2021 budget bill

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today presided over a meeting of the Kurdistan Region’s Supreme Economic Council to discuss ongoing efforts to present a comprehensive 2021 budget bill, as well as reforms.

The Prime Minister noted that the government is putting forward every effort to restructure its revenue system, reduce public expenses, reorganise government staff, and eliminate redundancies in the government’s payroll system. This process aims to ensure fairness in the system and compensation for hardworking employees.

Prime Minister Barzani emphasised the government remains committed to increasing its productivity and competitive edge by removing systemic barriers in its bureaucracy, adding that the 2021 budget bill should strive to improve the conditions for doing business while understanding the Kurdistan Region’s unique challenges. He underlined that the draft budget should be realistic and transparent, taking into consideration revenue figures from oil sales and other sources of income. It should address government spending, prospective deficits, and the current financial conditions of the Kurdistan Region.

Minister of Finance and Economy, Awat Sheikh Janab, and Minister of Planning, Dara Rashid, each presented detailed reports on current financial conditions in the Kurdistan Region, as well as details of the budget draft for the fiscal year of 2021. Head of the Department of Coordination and Follow-Up, Abdul-Hakim Khasro, reported on steps taken to implement previous decisions from the Supreme Economic Council. The Council of Ministers will review the draft and submit it to parliament for debate in the near future.

The Prime Minister also reiterated that the Kurdistan Region, having fulfilled its own constitutional obligations toward Baghdad, will continue to hold a dialogue with the Federal Government which has a constitutional duty to live up to its financial commitments toward the Kurdistan Region in the 2021 federal budget bill.

The Cabinet will meet tomorrow to discuss, among other things, details of the budget draft and the financial impacts of the current political climate in Iraq.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Nazim Dabbagh the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in Tehran had an exclusive interview with TehranTimes, during which he shared his view on General Qassem Soleimani and his role in the fight against terrorism in Iraq.

TEHRAN – Describing Iran’s role in the fight against terrorism as “vital” and effective”, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in Tehran says that Major General Qassem Soleimani helped the Iraqi Kurdistan by sending weapons and military advisers to defeat Daesh, also called Daesh in its Arabic acronym.

“Martyr Qassem Soleimani not only helped in the framework of consultation but also in the battlefield,” Nazim Dabbagh tells the Tehran Times. “We are thankful and appreciative for Iran’s advisory presence and its arms aid to eliminate the Daesh threat from Erbil.”

The following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you assess the role of Iran and General Qassem Soleimani in supporting the Iraqi Kurdish Region to confront Daesh? Kurdish leaders say that Qassem Soleimani provided weapons for Arbil when Daesh invaded Iraq.

A: As you mentioned, in fact, the officials of the Iraqi Kurdistan, including Mr. Massoud Barzani, have emphasized that Iran's role in the fight against terrorism in Iraq has been vital and important.

Martyr Qassem Soleimani did not only help in the framework of consultation, but also in the battlefield. He helped the Iraqi Kurdistan in its combat against terrorism. We are thankful and appreciative for Iran’s advisory presence and its arms aid to eliminate the Daesh threat from Erbil.

Q: Given the geopolitical situation in West Asia and the looming threats in the region, how do you assess Iran's role in stabilizing and combating terrorism?

A: Iran has a special position due to its geopolitical situation in the region, especially in the war against terrorism including Daesh. Tehran played an important role.

Indeed, the Islamic Republic of Iran has historically played this role, both during the 8-year war imposed by Saddam Hussein and in the midst of the war against Daesh. Iran has played a constructive role that has brought security and stability to the region.

I have said many times that if it were not for Iran, after the fall of Mosul, Daesh could have captured Baghdad as well as the Kurdistan region, but fortunately, the Islamic Republic and other allies made every effort to be helpful and effective which are commendable.

 

Q:  Iran has been a victim of terrorism since the victory of the Islamic Revolution and has gained valuable experience in this regard. What are the significance and effect of efforts made by commanders such as Martyr Soleimani to contain the chaotic situation in the region?

A: Iran, especially after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and years of experience in fighting terrorism and confronting various enemies, could create a kind of solidarity and unity among people.

In one of Soleimani’s speeches, I heard him spoke about the role of martyrs and leadership in deterring enemies. In his view, the leadership plays a pivotal role in mobilizing the people to support the revolution and help it to continue and defeats its foes, because the people need leaders on the battlefield who are brave and wise, as Soleimani was. This experience made peoples of the region always ready to fight terrorism under the command of leaders such as Martyr Qassem Soleimani, and we have witnessed this fact.

Q: What characteristics did make General Soleimani popular in the region and make him attract people with different religions and views?

A: If we want to talk about the characteristics and personality of people like Qassem Soleimani, we must mention that he was a faithful person, honest, brave.

Until the day he was martyred, he believed in his cause and was proud of it. I remember one day some of his friends warned him about the U.S. attempts to assassinate him and called on him to be more careful. He laughed and said that we are made for martyrdom and we are waiting to see when we will be martyred. These characteristics were the reason for his popularity. He did not pursue personal interests or power, but rather fought for his goals and aspirations.

Q: Why did some Western states like the U.S put someone like Qassem Soleimani, who was fighting Daesh, on the list of terrorists?

A: Defining terrorism or attributing terrorism to a country or person, or accusing a country or person of supporting terrorism, is made based on the interests of countries. Western and European countries have one policy and Iran has another, but in general, I think the people are entitled to give a real definition.

When the people of Iran or Iraq are satisfied with their own governments, it makes the Western definition unreliable. It is the stance and approval of the people of a country that rejects or approves these definitions.

Q:  How do you describe Qassem Soleimani's relations with Kurdish leaders and Kurdish groups or organizations?

A: My acquaintance with martyr General Qassem Soleimani dates back to 1991 after the uprising of the people of Kurdistan. Certainly, his politico-military position led to good relations with the officials, leaders, and political groups of the Kurdistan region.

 

These relations were to such an extent that when martyr Soleimani was seen with one of the Kurdish leaders, especially Mr. Talabani and Mr. Barzani, we did not feel distant, but we felt a sense of friendship and honesty.

 

https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/456510/KRG-rep-in-Tehran-says-Gen-Soleimani-helped-Kurdistan-to-fight

President Nechirvan Barzani’s New Year’s Message

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, December 31, 2020

The President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, issued a congratulatory message on the occasion of the New Year. Here is his statement:

On the occasion of the New Year, I offer my warmest wishes to all my fellow citizens, notably the proud families of our fallen heroes, and to the people of Iraq, representatives of countries in our Region, and allies and partners.

People throughout the world are united in facing a new year with the firm hope of overcoming the hardships of lives and livelihoods caused by Covid-19. We remember all those who have fallen victim to this pandemic; my heartfelt condolences go out to all families who have lost their loved ones.

We seek peace and prosperity for all during the coming new year and beyond. As 2020 comes to a close, the Kurdistan Region continues to struggle to be treated in conformity with the letter and spirit of the Constitution of Iraq, which was passed overwhelmingly in a countrywide referendum fifteen years ago. The Constitution emphasizes federalism that serves and supports all parts of Iraq so they may contribute to the success of the country.

Instead, the Kurdistan Region continues to face antagonism, punitive measures, and, indeed, cruelty. Failure of the central government to support the Kurdistan Region with a fair share of national revenue intentionally disrupts public services and threatens its people.

With patience and goodwill, over two weeks Kurdistan Region negotiators removed all obstacles for a lasting resolution. Passage of the Budget Deficit Bridge Bill, however, deprives the Region’s public servants of salaries and their legitimate financial entitlements.

In accordance with previous agreements, the central government has failed to fulfill its obligations. In effect, the national government, including the Prime Minister and his cabinet, should never have accepted this injustice. Unconstitutional punishment of the people of the Kurdistan Region demonstrates inadequate will to resolve disagreements.

We reiterate our commitment to reach a lasting agreement on the basis of the Constitution that ensures, without prejudice, the rights and entitlements of all the people of Iraq. In this regard, we welcome the influence and support of the United Nations and other members of the international community.

Within the Kurdistan Region, regrettably, political divisions are exacerbated by irresponsible social media. The duty and responsibility of all political elements in the Region are to promote and protect our personal security and relative political stability. This is not about blind compliance but about active, peaceful participation in processes that promote improved governance.

The Kurdistan Region faces two basic imperatives:

· Reaching a just agreement with the national government in accordance with the Constitution.

· Ending destructive disunity that adversely affects the lives and livelihood of all our people.

We offer our respect and appreciation to the people of the Kurdistan Region for their understanding, patience, and resilience. We honor our brave Peshmerga and all other security forces for their devoted service. During this pandemic period, we offer our sincerest gratitude to our physicians, nurses, and all other health providers who serve on the frontline against this global disease.

The Kurdistan Region will remain an essential factor for peace and stability in Iraq and the greater region. On the basis of mutual interest, we will continue to strengthen ties with neighboring and other countries. The Kurdistan Region will also continue to cooperate and coordinate with allies and partners whose mission and support continue to be required for the security of the country.

In contributing to a peaceful and prosperous Iraq, to the greater region and the world, together, with unity and common purpose, our decades-long experience confirms we can overcome hardships and crises. With optimism, we look forward to a brighter future with consensus, tolerance, coexistence, and mutual respect.

Happy New Year to everyone. I wish you all a year full of joy and success.

Nechirvan Barzani
President of the Kurdistan Region

 

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani statement ushering in the New Year

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani issued a statement today to express his best wishes on New Year’s Eve to the people of the Kurdistan Region, Peshmerga Forces, and the families of martyrs in particular.

In his statement, the Prime Minister said:

“The Kurdistan Region, like the rest of the world, endured a very difficult year facing unprecedented challenges. Together, we weathered the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent economic effects of a global pandemic. We were also burdened by the failure of federal authorities in Baghdad to send the Kurdistan Region its financial entitlements, as required by law. These factors inevitably sparked a deep financial crisis, impacting the lives of our fellow citizens in the Kurdistan Region. As we reflect on the past year, however, we also want to note our successes. We have now reached an agreement with the Iraqi Government on the draft 2021 budget bill. It is our hope that this agreement will be honored as a key step to ensuring the prosperity and stability of the country in the new year. I call on all Iraqi political parties to prevent the rights and financial entitlements of the people of Kurdistan from being used as a tool to exert political pressure against our people, who have suffered tremendously this year from their rights having been violated. I reiterate the Kurdistan Region and its government’s commitment to defending its constitutional rights.

“The Kurdistani people remain committed to the national cause, and have paid the ultimate price to defend it. The constitutional status of the Kurdistan Region is the product of our enduring struggle, for which hundreds of thousands of Peshmerga fighters sacrificed their lives. It is all of our duty to protect our constitutional status; For the dignity and pride of the people of Kurdistan depend on the strength of our national identity and respect of our constitutional rights.

“I also call on all political parties and people of Kurdistan to set aside their differences and disputes to protect the Kurdistan Region’s federal status, its territory, and its achievements. I call on all of you to unite in confronting threats and protecting our constitutional rights. I trust that, with a united and undivided front, we shall overcome all crises and challenges ahead of us.

“On this occasion, I also want to reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the government’s reform agenda and improving the living conditions of the people of the Kurdistan Region. I reiterate our commitment to uphold the rule of law and social justice, and to protect the peace and stability of our great nation.

“We look to the future with optimism, and hope the Kurdistan Region enters a new phase of development and progress in the new year, rewarding all of you for your sacrifices this past year. I wish everyone a happy new year and may Kurdistan remain safe and strong.”

 

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani statement ushering in the New Year | Kurdistan Regional Government

 

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani receives Australian Ambassador to Baghdad

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today met with Australian Ambassador to Iraq, Joanne Loundes, to discuss the latest developments in the region.

The two officials spoke about recent events in Iraq and the broader region, and emphasised the importance of strengthening ties between the Kurdistan Region and Australia.

Recognising Erbil’s potential as a hub for regional and international commerce, the Prime Minister and Ambassador also explored opportunities to further develop trade ties between the two countries, notably in the sectors of industry and agriculture. The Prime Minister welcomed more Australian investment and expertise in this regard.

 

 

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's statement on Christmas

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in a statement on Thursday extended his best wishes to fellow Christians celebrating Christmas.

In his statement, the Prime Minister said:

“I extend my best wishes to Christians in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and around the world, on the occasion of Christmas. I wish you a happy and peaceful feast during this holiday season.

“The Christian community is an important and indigenous part of the Kurdistani society. They, along with other communities, have played an important role in forming the Kurdistani nation.

“The Kurdistan Region prides itself on being a haven for different religious and ethnic groups in the region. On this holy occasion, we reiterate our commitment to further deepening and strengthening the culture of tolerance, forgiveness, and peaceful coexistence for all communities in the Kurdistan Region, which has a long tradition of celebrating diversity and multiculturalism.

“I hope the advent of this feast, along with the new year, brings with it more stability and peace, and marks an end to times of crises and hardships in Kurdistan and all around the world.”

 

 

https://gov.krd/english/government/the-prime-minister/activities/posts/2020/december/prime-minister-masrour-barzanis-statement-on-christmas/

 

 

 

 

President Nechirvan Barzani’s Christmas message

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region – December 24, 2020

The President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani issued the following message on Christmas:

On the occasion of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, I extend my warmest congratulations to our Christian community in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and around the world. I wish them a peaceful and joyous holiday and hope that this occasion will bring about more peace, tolerance and mutual respect in Iraq, the greater region and the world.

Regrettably, as in other countries around the world, large Christmas celebrations in the Kurdistan Region have been deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Christmas, however, will be honored and celebrated in the hearts of people of peace and goodwill everywhere, including in Kurdistan, where one of the oldest Christian communities in the world continues to survive and thrive. I hope that future celebrations will be held under better circumstances.

On this sacred occasion, we reiterate that the Kurdistan Region, as always, will remain a cradle of tolerance, pluralism and peaceful coexistence for all communities. Together, through unity, consensus and resilience, we have managed to overcome periods of hardship and severe crises in the past. Therefore, we will address current challenges, including the pandemic, and move forward towards a brighter future.

Terrorism has caused destruction and displacement among our communities. We reassure our Christian citizens that we will continue to exert our best efforts to support the reconstruction and resettlement of their treasured homelands. We shall endeavor to protect their rights and prevent future displacement.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Nechirvan Barzani
President of the Kurdistan Region

 

 

https://presidency.gov.krd/en/president-nechirvan-barzanis-christmas-message/

 

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