Erbil, Kurdistan Region, January 3, 2024

We condemn the terrorist bombings that targeted the city of Kerman in the Islamic Republic of Iran today, killing and injuring dozens of Iranian citizens.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the leadership, Government, and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran during this difficult time. We stand in solidarity with them and share their sorrow. May the souls of the victims rest in peace, and may their families find solace and comfort in this trying period. We hope for a swift recovery for the injured.

Nechirvan Barzani
President of the Kurdistan Region





President Nechirvan Barzani meets with US Deputy Secretary of State

President Nechirvan Barzani had a meeting with the US Deputy Secretary of State, Ms. Victoria Nuland in Erbil on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by the US Ambassador to Iraq, US Consul General in Erbil and a number of diplomats. They discussed a wide range of issues including the US relationship with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the political and security situation in the country, Erbil-Baghdad relations, and the internal situation in the Kurdistan Region.

Both sides emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of diplomatic envoys and the security of US and coalition forces in Iraq. They agreed that Iraqi authorities should take the necessary actions to bring an end to these attacks.

In regards to the internal situation in the Kurdistan Region, both sides recognized the significance of unity and understanding among political parties, particularly between the PUK and the KDP in the Kurdistan Region and in Iraq. In this regard, President Nechirvan Barzani pointed to a rapprochement and improvement in relations.

The meeting also covered topics including the Iraqi provincial council elections, the latest developments in the region, the ramifications of the war in Gaza, and other topics of mutual interest.





President Nechirvan Barzani’s New Year Address

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, December 31, 2023

In his New Year message, President Nechirvan Barzani stresses the need for Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to work together to address the ongoing challenges through dialogue and in a spirit of shared responsibility, mutual acceptance and solidarity. The main goal for the coming year should be to promote stability and peace by turning crises into opportunities, while prioritizing the well-being of all citizens, the President underlines.

The following is his full address:

As we welcome the arrival of the New Year, 2024, I extend my heartfelt wishes to the families of our fallen heroes, to our brave Peshmerga and security forces, and all the people of Kurdistan from every community, as well as to the people of Iraq and the world. May the coming year be filled with joy, peace, and prosperity for all.

We endured a challenging year, marked by obstacles and perils brought about by the political, security, and economic circumstances, as well as the problems and crises in Iraq, Kurdistan Region and the wider region.

Internal political discord and disputes reflected negatively on Kurdistan Region’s standing and ability within Iraq and internationally. Consequently, the Kurdistan Region was unable to attain its constitutional rights. The parliamentary elections in Kurdistan were postponed, and in the provincial council elections in the areas covered by Article 140 of the Constitution, the negative ramifications of the discord were evident.

Despite talks, efforts, and commitments, many of the constitutional rights and entitlements of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq were not fulfilled, contrary to political agreements and the Constitution. The peace and stability of the Kurdistan Region were repeatedly threatened by drone attacks.

The failure to implement political agreements and respect the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region can only be damaging to Iraq. We must all work together, in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, to resolve issues and overcome crises through dialogue and understanding, in a spirit of shared responsibility, mutual acceptance and solidarity.

In the new year, in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region let’s learn from the past and strive for a stable, tranquil and better future together. Let’s transform crises and challenges into opportunities, with the interests of the people and the country as the ultimate goal that unites us. Iraq’s strength and prosperity stem from the presence of its varied communities and only through unity and solidarity can we all emerge victorious.

On this occasion, we reaffirm the Kurdistan Region’s commitment to enhancing our ties with our neighboring countries, the region, and the world, based on mutual respect and shared interests. As always, the Kurdistan Region will continue to play a crucial role in promoting peace and stability, actively engaging with the international community, and fostering a diverse and harmonious society.

With great hope and anticipation, we look forward to the future.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Nechirvan Barzani
President of the Kurdistan Region





President Nechirvan Barzani meets with Turkish Ambassador

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, November 28, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani held a meeting today with Türkiye’s Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Ali Riza Guney, and his delegation. In their discussion, both sides commended the strength of Iraq’s and Kurdistan Region’s relations with Türkiye, while also emphasizing the importance of further enhancing these relations and promoting greater cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade and the economy.

The Turkish Ambassador reaffirmed his country’s willingness to support oil exports from the Kurdistan Region. The President expressed his gratitude to Türkiye for its stance and referred to the technical discussions that are currently underway between Erbil and Baghdad to facilitate this process.

In addition to exchanging views on the situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the meeting also addressed the relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the status of ethnic and religious communities in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and the latest developments in the wider region.





KRG Prime Minister Welcomes UK Military Delegation

On November 22, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) met with a British military delegation, led by Marshal Sammy Sampson, the UK's Senior Military Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa.

Their discussions focused on the ongoing progress made in bilateral security and military cooperation, exploring specific avenues for enhancing such partnerships.

The meeting also addressed the current conflicts in the Middle East. Both parties expressed unanimous agreement on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region, emphasising the need for peaceful resolutions and preventing Iraq's involvement in regional military conflicts.

Prime Minister Barzani underscored the necessity of protecting the constitutional rights of the Kurdish people and upholding the region's constitutional rights and federal statutes.

Furthermore, he called for increased international involvement to assist Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in resolving their outstanding issues.





KRG Prime Minister Discusses Regional Issues and Domestic Policies in Special Panel

In a candid discussion with BBC presenter Maryam Moshiri, the Kurdistan Regional Government's Prime Minister Masrour Barzani addressed a spectrum of issues, ranging from regional conflicts to internal political and economic challenges. Emphasising a peace-centric approach, PM Barzani denounced warfare, particularly in the context of the Middle East, advocating for the resolution of conflicts through diplomatic channels.

The Prime Minister also touched upon the strained relationship between Baghdad and Erbil, especially over oil exports. He underscored the importance of respecting the Kurdistan Region's constitutional rights in oil matters, highlighting discrepancies in production costs and the need for fair calculations by Baghdad relating to the financial entitlements of the region. This issue, deeply rooted in the interpretation of federal and regional powers, remains a pivotal point in Baghdad-Erbil relations.

Domestically, PM Barzani highlighted his government's efforts in diversifying the Kurdistan Region's economy beyond its traditional reliance on oil, citing significant investments in agriculture, tourism, and industry. This shift, crucial in the face of economic challenges posed by reduced oil prices and budget cuts from Baghdad, aims to create a more resilient and multifaceted economic structure.

The conversation also delved into digitalisation, particularly in banking and government services, aimed at fostering a transparent and efficient financial system. Tackling corruption is another key focus for PM Barzani’s administration, with an emphasis on systematising government functions to prevent misuse and malpractice.

Addressing environmental concerns, PM Barzani acknowledged the pressing issue of climate change, especially water scarcity, and outlined initiatives such as dam construction, afforestation, and gas capture from oil wells. He stressed the collective responsibility of the international community in mitigating the effects of climate change.

The empowerment of youth and women was another significant topic. PM Barzani detailed initiatives like the Kurdistan Region Innovation Institute and the promotion of women in various high profile posts in the public sector, including ministerial positions in the cabinet. He emphasised the importance of creating opportunities for the youth and women to foster a more inclusive and dynamic society. This approach aims to nurture a progressive environment where diverse talents contribute to the Kurdistan Region's growth and development.

In conclusion, PM Barzani's interview reflected a deep commitment to addressing both regional and internal challenges through a combination of strategic diplomacy, economic diversification, and social empowerment. His forward-looking policies, particularly in the realms of digitalisation, corruption control, and climate change, signal a concerted effort to steer the Kurdistan Region towards a sustainable and equitable future.





KRG Prime Minister Meets with Former British Prime Minister

On Monday, November 20, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Their discussion focussed on the evolving political landscape in Iraq and the broader region, and the ongoing bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and Britain.

Mr. Johnson acknowledged the numerous sacrifices made by the Kurdistan Region in its quest for rights, underlining the critical need for the international community to support the Kurdish people. He expressed his deep personal connection to the Kurdistan Region, pledging his ongoing support.

Additionally, Mr. Johnson highlighted the importance of establishing direct flights between the Kurdistan Region and Britain, which would strengthen ties and facilitate travel.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the UK for its consistent support of the Kurdistan Region. He stressed the significance of honouring the Kurdistan Region’s federal status, deeming it essential for sustaining peace and stability in Iraq and the surrounding region.





MEPS Forum in Duhok Highlights Climate Change Among Key Global Challenges

On Monday, November 20, 2023, the Middle East Peace and Security Forum (MEPS) opened at the American University in Duhok (AUK), attended by the Kurdistan Region’s President, Nechirvan Barzani, Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani, and numerous politicians, academics, and researchers from around the world.

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, who is also Chairman of the AUK’s Board of Trustees, inaugurated the forum with a speech emphasising the conference's timely relevance. He highlighted its focus on critical global issues such as climate change, mass migration, extremism, and sustainable management of natural resources.

The Prime Minister expressed his expectation that the forum's discussions would yield insightful and transparent perspectives, contributing to political decision-making processes.

Below is the complete transcript of Prime Minister Barzani's speech:

Welcoming Remarks By H.E. PM Masrour Barzani, Chairman of AUK’s Board of Trustees,

President of Kurdistan Region, His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani

Esteemed leaders, scholars, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning,

A very warm welcome to all of you who have assembled here for the fourth meeting of the
Middle East Peace and Security Forum, hosted by the American University of Kurdistan.

Once again, we are joined by an impressive gathering of scholars, business leaders, and decision-makers, all of whom have deep knowledge of our region and a shared commitment to navigating its many challenges. The tests we face as nations and as peoples remain profound. Each and every one of you here today will, at some point in the past year, have spent time confronting many of the issues that we will debate in coming days. And I’m sure, like me, you will at times have wished that the answers were easier than they are.

The agenda put together by the conference organisers does not shy away from a formidable array of issues faced by us all. Topics such as climate change, mass migration, extremism and its drivers, sustainability and systems of governance are all up for debate. And I would expect that some of the discussions here will inform decision making and policy choices. For that is the test of gatherings such as this - how the intellectual heft displayed here can help drive meaningful outcomes.

I am pleased by the regional participation in this conference. To our friends who have travelled from neighbouring states and beyond, I welcome you and look forward to deepening our engagements. Your presence here affirms your commitment to dialogue as a driver of understanding. Whether it be on a local, or global scale, there will never be a substitute for sitting down across a table thrashing out solutions to challenges. We must continue to meet and debate.

We must also be prepared to acknowledge that some of the issues that will be debated here are existential to us all. A rapidly warming planet will have cruel implications for our part of the world, fuelling food insecurity, water scarcity and mass migration. This is not a problem to kick down the road. It is happening now. Heatwaves are more frequent. Floods in our lands are happening more frequently, we are having to dig deeper wells to find water. Recent indications show that predictions of temperature rises in the Middle East, made not long ago, will be well short of reality. We need to do better to manage emission of carbon. We have every reason to do so, and no reason not to.

Now is not the time to avoid responsibility or to wish our problems away. We need to act in a collective good, as citizens first and foremost, but with an added global dimension. Remaining wedded to a narrow sense of who we are leaves us ill-equipped to deal with the common challenges facing us all. Kurdistan will not escape the effects of a warming Kuwait. Bahrain and Basra are linked not just by sea - but by a common climate destiny.

Our common humanity demands we confront a warming planet, as it does the scenes of war and deprivation we have witnessed over the decades and continue to witness now.

We can never allow such images to be normalised.

We have all seen heart-breaking videos showing innocent civilians, children and elderly as victims of another devastating war. These scenes must be a wakeup call. Violence on the scale we are observing is never a solution and will not bring peace but endless cycles of destruction and calamity.

We must not only condemn war and violence but find peaceful solutions to outstanding disputes and problems before escalating into military confrontation. We must not wait to solve problems while we can before losing control of events. We must accept each other’s differences and learn to live together with respect and not look for excuses to reject the other side.

We have all been horrified by the renewed violence in the Middle East. But the framing of the decade-old conflicts is also problematic. For example, for 30 years the call for a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis has been seen as a just and necessary model. Kurds have also demanded the same rights and dignities, yet our cause has often been forsaken. How do you reconcile resounding support for one just cause and deafening silence for another? It is time to do better. Intractable problems require bold responses. And, as the world looks for ways to turn the Palestinian crisis into an overdue solution, I urge a fresh approach to how we as Kurdistanis coexist with our neighbours.

Recent developments in Iraq are also concerning. Repeated violations of the Iraqi Constitution, and a lack of adherence to the agreement that led to the formation of the current government risks destabilisation, and the re-emergence of sectarianism and divisions among the major constituencies.

Should unilateral decisions continue to be imposed and government institutions continue to be controlled by one group, the feeling of injustice will only deepen. The by-products of these factors; corruption, injustice and poverty will prove fertile ingredients for a return to instability. Insurgency feeds from such conditions.

A wholistic approach to the governance of Iraq and the unfinished business of the region is well overdue.


While you are among us, I encourage you to embrace what we have to offer as Kurdistanis. Through you, I extend an invitation to the world to witness the strides we have made economically and the communities that coexist peacefully among us. We have much to show you, and we invite your participation.

As we commence this Forum, I urge you to draw upon the collective wisdom within this room. May our discussions be an impetus for innovative ideas and pragmatic solutions.

Once again, I extend a heartfelt welcome to each and every one of you to the Middle East Peace and Security Forum.

Thank you.





President Nechirvan Barzani meets with UK Chief of the Defense Staff’s Senior Middle East Advisor

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, November 22, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani today received the UK Chief of the Defense Staff’s Senior Advisor to the Middle East & North Africa, Air Marshal Martin ‘Sammy’ Sampson and his military delegation, to discuss various issues of mutual interest.

President Nechirvan Barzani and Air Marshal Sampson exchanged views on the latest developments and the potential consequences of the ongoing war in Gaza. The President emphasized that the war in Gaza poses a threat to the entire region and stressed that Iraq should avoid being drawn into the conflict, which would only exacerbate the dire and complex situation.

They also addressed the political situation in Iraq and agreed on the importance of maintaining Iraq’s political stability, peace and security. They stressed the need for all parties to act responsibly and protect the international coalition forces and diplomats in Iraq from any sort of attacks.

Turning to the threat of terrorism, both sides agreed that ISIS remains a real threat to the security and stability of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and preventing its resurgence needs the continued support of the international coalition. Air Marshal Sampson reiterated the continued commitment of the UK, as a member of the international coalition, to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

The internal situation in the Kurdistan Region was another topic of their meeting, with both viewing the recent meetings between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as a positive development.





KRG Prime Minister Meets with United Nations Delegation

On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Volker Perthes, Head of the Independent Strategic Review Team (ISRT) from the United Nations. This meeting follows the mandate of Security Council resolution 2682 (2023).

Mr. Perthes underscored the purpose of the visit, which is to evaluate the tasks of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), optimise its mandate, and provide recommendations and effective staffing adjustments to support Iraq in enhancing regional cooperation.

The Prime Minister emphasised the critical importance of UNAMI's mission in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. He highlighted its role in bolstering political influence, addressing challenges, promoting political stability, fortifying democratic principles and institutions, supporting the federal system, implementing Article 140 of the constitution, and ensuring the protection of constitutional rights for the Kurdish people and all Iraqi communities.





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