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Thursday, 13 April 2023 11:04

Vatican City, April 13, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani had an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City on Thursday morning.

During his audience, the President expressed his delight over seeing His Holiness in good health, and wished him wellbeing and a long life. The President then presented an overview of the situation in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, and highlighted the status of the religious and ethnic communities in the country.

The President referred to the importance and impact of Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and stressed that the Kurdistan Region as always protects the rights and liberties of all religious and ethnic communities, and will remain a country of peaceful coexistence and tolerance for all.

For his part, His Holiness Pope Francis expressed delight at meeting the President again, and praised the culture of peaceful coexistence and acceptance among religious and ethnic communities in the country, emphasizing that this culture should be deepened in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. His Holiness called his last journey to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region a happy memory.

At the end of his audience, President Nechirvan Barzani presented Pope Francis with a painting made by a Kurdish artist which illustrated the coexistence among the religious and ethnic communities in the Kurdistan Region.

Sunday, 09 April 2023 01:12

Baghdad, Iraq, April 8, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani met with the US Ambassador to Iraq Ms. Alina Romanowski in Baghdad this evening.

The meeting discussed US relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, joint cooperation between them and the agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Federal Government on oil exports, which both sides considered as a positive development.

Ms. Romanowski underscored that US attaches importance to the Erbil-Baghdad dialogue and the resolution of the outstanding issues between them, reaffirming the continued support of the United States to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Other issues of common interest were also discussed at the meeting.ا

Sunday, 09 April 2023 01:11

Baghdad, Iraq, April 8, 2023

Continuing his meetings in Baghdad, President Nechirvan Barzani met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mr. Mohammed Shia al-Sudani Saturday evening. In the meeting, the President reiterated the Kurdistan Region’s backing for the Prime Minister and the Iraqi Federal Government, and expressed support for the implementation of his cabinet agenda. The President also commended Mr. al-Sudani’s efforts to carry out the government’s agenda and to realize the political agreement of the ruling coalition of the state.

For his part, Mr. al-Surdaani appreciated the role of President Nechirvan Barzani and his continued efforts to bring the political parties closer together and to resolve the outstanding issues among them. He stressed the importance of continuing the dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Federal Government to resolve the pending differences.

Both sides agreed on the need to implement the agreement to resume oil exports from the Kurdistan Region and on the support of the political parties in the House of Representatives to pass the Iraqi budget law. They also reiterated the need for continued cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad in all areas.

Sunday, 09 April 2023 01:10

Baghdad, Iraq, April 8, 2023.

President Nechirvan Barzani met today in Baghdad with Dr. Abdul Latif Rashid, the President of the Republic of Iraq.

At the meeting, the two leaders referred to the agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Federal Government of Iraq on resumption of oil exports from the Kurdistan Region as a positive step that serves the interest of all of Iraq, and expressed hope that it will pave the way for the resolution of outstanding issues.

They also discussed the political and security situation in the country and stressed the significance of maintaining the stability and preserving the sovereignty of Iraq, and pointed to the dialogue and understanding as a positive way to resolve the issues.

Discussions also covered the budget law of Iraq, the bilateral relations of Iraq with neighboring countries, and other issues of common interest.

Friday, 07 April 2023 22:47

Baghdad, Iraq, April 8, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani met today in Baghdad with Mr. Nuri al-Maliki, the leader of the State of Law Coalition.

The meeting discussed the latest political developments in Iraq, the current challenges facing the country and the ongoing efforts to implement the agenda of the Iraqi federal government.

Both sides stressed the importance of solidarity and cooperation among the political forces and parties in Iraq to overcome the difficulties and find solutions to the country’s problems in a responsible national spirit.

Erbil-Baghdad relations and the latest developments in the wider region were also discussed at the meeting.

Friday, 07 April 2023 22:46

Baghdad, Iraq, April 8, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani attended the 42nd anniversary of the establishment of the Badr Organization in Baghdad on Saturday morning. The gathering was attended by a large number of dignitaries including Iraq’s President, Parliament Speaker, Prime Minister, and a number of Ministers, officials and Iraqi political party representatives.

President Nechirvan Barzani delivered the following speech at the ceremony:

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Dear Attendees,

First of all, I congratulate Mr. Haji Hadi Amiri, Secretary General of Badr Organization, their members and supporters on the 42nd anniversary of the establishment of Badr Organization. I hope that Badr will play an effective role in maintaining stability and consolidating democracy and federalism in Iraq.

On behalf of President Massoud Barzani, I would like to congratulate the leadership of the Badr Organization on its establishment.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The history of Badr goes back to the time of the fight against the dictatorial regime. The Iraqi opposition parties then fought strongly against the former regime. Cooperation between Iraqi and Kurdish political forces strengthened the belief of Iraqi communities in victory.

Therefore, the people rose up against the regime in 1991 with conviction, and that faith continued until the regime was overthrown in 2003. It was this unity that enabled the parties to succeed in the important stage of writing the permanent Constitution of Iraq, which is a very important stage in the country’s contemporary history.

On this day, when we commemorate the founding of the Badr Organization and the fight against oppression, we must commemorate the leader of the Islamic Resistance and martyr of the Mihrab, Sayyid Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. The martyred leader made a successful attempt to unite the Shiite Islamic resistance and Iraq against tyranny.

Together with my father, and President Massoud Barzani and Mam Jalal, they further developed relations between the Islamic Resistance and Kurdistan liberation movement. There has always been a strong relationship between the Barzan family, the al-Hakim family and the Supreme Shiite Marja’a in Najaf.

Dear Attendees,

Tomorrow, April 9, marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the dictatorship. Now is the right time to reflect on the success that resulted from unity. Consider the two Iraqi opposition congresses in London and Salahaddin, where the program for a democratic and federal Iraq was set.

Over the past 20 years, elections have become a part of the political life, which is an important development because free elections are the spirit of democracy everywhere and in every country. Communities are also represented in parliament, and Iraq is no longer a threat to its neighbors. Iraq has a permanently accepted democratic and federal Constitution.

These are all important points in changing the system of governance in Iraq. Of course, there have been many mistakes in these 20 years that we need to correct together. Similarly, the decline in voter participation in the electoral process will be addressed.

We have all contributed to the success, and we all bear responsibility for our mistakes and shortcomings according to our level of participation. Many of the laws that should be enacted according to the constitution have not been enacted; these laws will be the mechanism for the success of the new Iraq and the establishment of a federal system in the country.

We in Iraq must always bear in mind the fact that dictatorship and ethnic and religious discrimination in Iraq has always been a source of war and destruction for the country. Therefore, a fully federal system and equality among nations is the only way to stability and progress in Iraq. The bitter experiences of the past have caused great harm to the Iraqi people. For the sake of all Iraqi communities, we must learn from these experiences.

An Iraq will be stable and successful in which Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Turkmens and other communities see themselves as partners and successful. Pluralism in Iraq will win; totalitarianism will not. The past 102 years of history clearly tell us that.

Ladies and gentlemen.

I am very happy to see that my dear brother Mohammed Shia Sudani, the Prime Minister of the federal Iraq is making great efforts and working to implement the government’s agenda; and this deserves the support of all sides. We in the Kurdistan Region will continue to support the Prime Minister’s direction in every way, and we have said that to all our friends and allies.

The Kurdistan Region oil export agreement is a big step towards a comprehensive solution. I would like to congratulate the Prime Minister of the federal Iraq and the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Mr. Masrour Barzani, the team of both sides of the government and coalition parties.

We have said from the beginning that an Iraqi solution is the best solution. If we all go back to that solution, we can solve all the problems. We could all look for other ways, but the right way for all of us is inside Iraq.

An Iraqi solution will strengthen Iraq’s sovereignty and progress. It will strengthen people’s confidence in the authorities and strengthen trust between Iraqi communities.

If we make an Iraqi solution our objective, we can ensure our current stability and future success. The Iraqi solution will succeed through partnership and dialogue because we have the spirit of this partnership, which is the Iraqi Constitution.

Ten years ago, President Massoud Barzani, with pure intentions and a strategic vision, called on all Iraqi parties to sit down together to prevent major disasters and return to the Constitution. Unfortunately, this was not done and very unpleasant events and disasters occurred in Iraq and the region. Today, a new and encouraging situation has emerged. We believe that there is now room for discussion on all issues. Therefore, it is important to start with a pure heart, a national vision and a solution.

Iraq is facing many new domestic and regional challenges, so we must no longer leave the problems pending, in order to overcome the new problems and challenges. One of these problems is the threat of climate change. Iraq is one of the five countries most affected by climate change in the world, which requires a major strategic project by the Iraqi government and parliament.

I once again congratulate the Badr Organization and call on all political leaders and parties to negotiate with a pure heart this Ramadan in order to resolve all issues and to ensure a better life for the Iraqi people.

Thank you very much, I wish you a good time.

Friday, 07 April 2023 22:45

Assistant Secretary Leaf congratulated Prime Minister Barzani on the recent oil and gas agreement with Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani, describing it as a win for the whole country. She emphasised US support for the its full implementation.

Prime Minister Barzani welcomed Assistant Secretary Leaf’s support for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. The Prime Minister noted that progress with Prime Minister Al-Sudani has laid the foundation for a new era of lasting cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad.

They also discussed other issues of bilateral interest, including recent developments in the Kurdistan Region.

07 Apr 2023
Friday, 07 April 2023 22:44

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, April 7, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani attended the funeral of the late veteran Peshmerga Sheikhallah Ibrahim in Erbil today. Responding to reporters after the funeral, the President commented on the latest political developments in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. The following is a readout of his remarks:

The President spoke about the late Sheikhullah Ibrahim and said: “Mr. Sheikhullah was a well-known fighter of the people of Kurdistan. I knew him for a long time, from a very young age. He earned the respect of the Peshmarga wherever he served; he had the respect of the KDP members and everyone else. Both the Peshmarga and party members showed great respect for him. And we see today that he had the admiration of the people of Kurdistan. We see that a great number of people are participating in his funeral today. This is a sign of the loyalty of the people of Kurdistan for Mr. Sheikhallah, especially from the people of Erbil.”

On his efforts regarding the return of the PUK ministers to the Kurdistan Regional Government meetings, the President stressed: “I have urged them to do that (to return) and Prime Minister Mr. Masrour Barzani has urged them to do that, and we believe that the return of the PUK team (ministers) to the Kurdistan Regional Government (meetings) is necessary. They should resolve the issues in the government and of course the issues will be resolved within the Council of Ministers.”

Regarding the elections in the Kurdistan Region, the President said: “Before issuing the Presidential decree to hold elections, officials from the Kurdistan Region Presidency visited all political parties, and the day we have set for the elections was in consultation with the political parties in the Kurdistan Region. I hope all political parties in Kurdistan will cooperate to hold the elections on time.”

Regarding the agreement between Erbil and Baghdad, the President said: “It is a very important agreement and it is in the interest of the whole of Iraq. We have stressed from the first day that there should be an Iraqi solution to these problems,”

“It is often asked whether the Kurdistan Region was in favor of an agreement before. Yes, we were, but the federal government in Baghdad did not support it before. Fortunately, this time the government in Baghdad also showed readiness and we hope that this agreement will be implemented as soon as it is possible.

Asked whether the elections will be held on time, President Nechirvan Barzani said: “I hope so, and as I said, it is my legal duty as the president to determine the date of the elections, and we do have time, before the elections are held. We have spoken to the Kurdistan political parties before setting the date, and I hope everyone will support the elections to be held on time, because this is a legal issue for the Kurdistan Region and its credibility and should be carried out.

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