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Monday, 19 June 2023 04:41

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.

Monday, 19 June 2023 00:10

On Monday, June 19, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a meeting with Hans Sandee, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Iraq.

Their discussions centred around the latest political developments in Iraq, with a specific focus on the Kurdistan Region's relationship with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Both parties underscored the importance of enhancing and strengthening these bilateral relations.

An essential aspect of the meeting focused on the Kurdistan Region's relations with the federal government in Baghdad and the vital necessity of safeguarding the region's constitutional rights. Prime Minister Barzani emphasised the significance of upholding the Erbil-Baghdad agreements and stressed that the security and stability of the county hinge upon the implementation of the constitution and the honouring of these agreements.

Addressing internal affairs within the Kurdistan Region, Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed the government's unwavering commitment to preserving the region's integrity and rejecting any unconstitutional or irresponsible demands that seek to undermine its stature. Furthermore, he emphasised the urgency of holding parliamentary elections at the earliest opportunity.

Ambassador Sandee conveyed his country's sincere desire to strengthen relations with the Kurdistan Region across various domains. He reiterated the Netherlands' support for a robust and prosperous Kurdistan Region within the framework of a federal Iraq.

Monday, 12 June 2023 21:34

On Monday, June 12, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government held a productive meeting with Iraqi Minister of Health, Saleh Mehdi Al-Hasnawi.

During their discussion, they focused on strengthening collaboration and coordination between the health ministries of the Kurdistan Region and the central government.

A key point of agreement was the need for both ministries to actively collaborate on comprehensive reform plans. These plans aim to improve the public health sector and enhance the quality of medical products.

Monday, 12 June 2023 21:32

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, June 13, 2023

We welcome the approval of the Iraqi three-year budget bill. We hope it will be a good roadmap for economic development, political stability, and we hope it will create an encouraging environment for investments. We congratulate all those who worked faithfully for the interests of all the citizens and for equality among the Iraqi people.

Unfortunately, during the parliamentary debates, some MPs acted wrongfully with regards to the rights and entitlements of the Kurdistan Region and the Disputed Territories. What occurred was not in line with the principles of the political agreement of the State Administration Coalition; and this direction and way of working does not serve the political process, the situation and the future of Iraq.

The budget law should be implemented fairly and take into account the status of the Kurdistan Region as a constitutional political entity and the Disputed Territories, and protect their rights and interests. There must be full assurance that the financial entitlements and wages of the Kurdistan Region employees will not be delayed or neglected for political reasons.

What we saw during the budget debate is deeply worrying and once again proved the fact that the division among the Kurdistani parties will harm the Kurdistan Region. However, with common political will and by prioritizing the public interest, we can use this as an opportunity to strengthen mutual trust, to organize our internal affairs, to ease tensions, to resolve differences and to further strengthen Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Nechirvan Barzani
The President of the Kurdistan Region

Monday, 12 June 2023 21:32

On Monday, June 12, 2023, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government met with Firas Al-Hawari, the Jordanian Minister of Health.

During their discussions, Mr. Al-Hawari conveyed the gratitude of HM King Abdullah II of Jordan to Prime Minister Barzani, highlighting the country's commitment to deepening bilateral relations with the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani, acknowledging the longstanding ties between the Kurdistan Region and Jordan, expressed his appreciation for the support extended by the Hashemite Kingdom, particularly in relation to HM King Abdullah II's assistance to the Kurdish people.

The discussions primarily focussed on enhancing cooperation in the healthcare sector, with the Kurdistan Region seeking to benefit from Jordan's successful experiences and expertise in the pharmaceutical industry.

Monday, 12 June 2023 21:31

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, June 12, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani received Jordanian Minister of Health, Mr. Firas Al-Hawari, and his accompanying delegation on Monday afternoon.

In the meeting, also attended by the Ministers of Health of the Iraqi Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdistan-Jordan Health Week, which is currently being held in Erbil, was highlighted.

The President thanked the Jordanian Ministry of Health for its cooperation and coordination with the Ministries of Health of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq, and stressed that the Kurdistan Region and Iraq can benefit from Jordan’s positive experience and achievements in medicine and education.

The two sides also discussed the development of Jordan’s relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and their further cooperation in the fields of health and medicine.

Thursday, 08 June 2023 01:17

On Thursday, June 8, 2023, Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), met with Alina Romanowski, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, in the presence of Irvin Hicks, the United States Consul General in Erbil.

The discussions primarily focused on the importance of resolving pending issues and overcoming obstacles between the KRG and the Federal Government in Baghdad. Both parties emphasised the need to address these issues within the framework of the Iraqi constitution and in accordance with mutual agreements.

A key part of the discussion revolved around the Kurdistan Region's share of the federal budget. Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed his government's commitment to resolving all pending issues constitutionally with the central government in Baghdad, in order to safeguard the region's rights and financial entitlements. He emphasised that any infringement upon these rights would not be tolerated by the KRG.

Regarding internal affairs within the Kurdistan Region, both parties stressed the significance of expediting parliamentary elections in the region as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 07 June 2023 21:23

On Tuesday, 6 June 2023, Masrour Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), welcomed a delegation from the Japanese government consisting of Kansuke Nagaoka, Assistant Minister and Director General of the Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
and Futoshi Matsumoto, the Ambassador of Japan to Iraq.

The Prime Minister expressed his delight at the delegation’s visit to the Kurdistan Region. He also spoke of his admiration for Japan's experience and expertise in various fields, its investment in human resources and the development of a generation that embraces creativity, innovation, and productivity. The Prime Minister considered Japan to be a role model to be acknowledged and emulated.

The Japanese delegation commended the progress achieved in construction and development within the Kurdistan Region in recent years. They reiterated that numerous opportunities exist for Japanese investment in the region.

The discussion also focused on strengthening bilateral ties between the Kurdistan Region and Japan, with a particular emphasis on areas such as transportation, agriculture, education, and industry.

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