President Barzani Concludes Visit to World Economic Forum in Davos

 Davos, Switzerland ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today concluded his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. During his participation at the Forum, the President took part in two high-level discussion sessions; one on the events unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa, and one on the conflict in Syria, and their implications for the region in general.

During his three-day stay in Davos, the President also held meetings with the prime ministers of Holland and Georgia, and the foreign ministers of France, Turkey and Sweden. These discussions focused on enhancing bilateral relations and included consultations on the political and security challenges facing Iraq, Syria and the wider region.

In all his meetings , President Barzani drew attention to the plight of the more than 250,000 Syrian refugees who have sought refuge in Kurdistan, and underlined the importance of more international assistance for these refugees. On the conflict in Syria, he also reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria, and that only a political settlement can lead to a resolution.

In the meeting between the President and the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, both emphasized continued close cooperation and hope that these bilateral ties will become increasingly enhanced. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he is very pleased with his country’s bilateral relations with the Kurdistan Region. The President said the KRG is equally pleased with this relationship and is keen to further develop ties with France. He also extended an invitation for the Foreign Minister to visit Erbil.

The meeting between the President and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu focused on bilateral ties and the dialogue currently underway between Erbil and Baghdad to reach a settlement on the issues of oil and gas exports through Turkey. They both expressed their hope and optimism that Erbil and Baghdad can soon reach a resolution, one that is also in the interest of Iraq as whole.

On the sidelines of the Forum, President Barzani also met the President of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Rex Tilerson, and Chevron’s Vice President for Business Development, Jay Pryor. Chevron’s Vice President thanked the KRG for its close cooperation with the company and briefed the President about the activities and the progress of their work in Kurdistan.





Kurdistan Representative participated in the funeral service of Master Hussein Yusef Zamani in Tehran

Dr. Jegar-Khoein, vice-representative of Kurdistan Region participated in the funeral service of Master Hussien Yusef Zamani, the well-known Kurdish composer and player in Tehran. Blessed Master Hussein Yusef Zamani’s, the well-known composer and violinist, funeral service was held by the presence Iranian and Kurdish artists and authorities like Ali Moradkhani, the art vice-minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance, Dr. Jegar-Khoein, the vice-representative of Kurdistan Region in Tehran, Hushang Kamkar, composer and the supervisor of Kamkaran Group, Bijan Kamkar, the vocalist and well-known Daff player, Dr. Jalal Jalalizadeh, University professor and Sanandaj representative in six round of Islamic Council Parliament, Sadigh Ta’rif, Kurdish singer, Dr. Kambiz Roshanravan, well-known composer, Bijan Bijani, singer and calligraphist, milad Kiaei, the composer and glockenspiel player, Hamidreza Atefi, the researcher of music and the member of Iran Music Home Board,  Dr. As’ad Ardalan, Uninversity professor and international relations expert, Fazel Jamshidi, traditional singer, bahram Valadbeigi, Kurdish journalist and the head of Kurdistan Cultural Institute in Tehran, Mohammad Golriz, singer, Majid Akhshabi, the composer and singer, Abdollah Sohrabi, the Marivan representative in sixth round of Islamic Council Parliament, jamshid Azizkhani, the singer of Kermanshah, Mohammad Raouf Moradi, Kurdish researcher and writer, some members of the board of directors of Kurd Society inhabited in the center, . . . .

The Kurdish musician Master Hussein Ysef Zamani passed away on Tuesday, on Dey 10 of the current year due to marrow cancer at the age of 80 in TehranGars hospital in Tehran. The corpse of blessed Ysef Zamani, the well-known composer was participated in funeral procession by the presence of countless numbers of Iranian and Kurdish artists and authority in front of Tehran Vahdat Saloon to the cemetery at 10 o’clock, on Saturday, dey 14 and buried in the artists part of Iran at 12.   








Iraq delegation attends donor conference for Syria

Kuwait City, Kuwait – ( – A delegation from Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, led by Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari attended the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in which 68 countries and 24 international organisations participated.

Minister Zebari was accompanied by the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa.

The aim of the donor conference was to gain further humanitarian assistance for the Syrian refugees and internally displaced people who have been affected since the start of the conflict in March 2011.

The conference was opened by the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and chaired by the UN Secretary-General  Ban Ki-moon. As the host of the conference, the Emir urged the international community to get together in order to help those who have been affected by the Syrian conflict and pledged $500 million to the cause.

Mr Ban thanked the Emir of Kuwait for his generosity and hospitality, and encouraged the international community to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees who have paid the biggest price for the ongoing war in Syria.

During his opening speech, the UN Secretary-General thanked all countries and international organisations for their presence and active participation.

Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Antonio Gutierrez, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and others addressed the conference and urged countries to make donations to meet UN’s $6.5 billion appeal for Syria.

Minister Zebari emphasised that  military intervention was not the  solution to the conflict in Syria, pinning hopes on the Geneva II Conference which is set to take place later this month.

This year Iraq pledged $13 million in addition to the $58 million it has already contributed in relief funds to the Syrian refugees and IDPs in Iraq.

The Kurdistan Region has seen a large influx of Syrian refugees in addition to the thousands of Iraqi families that have fled to the Region as violence continues in other parts of Iraq. There are currently over 250,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq, including those who are registered and non-registered. The vast majority are in Kurdistan.

The KRG has so far provided $70 million in relief funds including the provision of basic needs such as food, shelter, clean water and sanitation, as well as emergency health care. However, the KRG is overstretched and has been calling for urgent international assistance.

Minister Mustafa, highlighted the importance of the conference as well as the role Kuwait and the UN have played in helping the vulnerable people fleeing Syria. 'The KRG is committed to helping the refugees and appreciates any contributions made,' he said, adding that the need to end the violence is of paramount importance.

The United States of America was among the most generous donors, contributing $380 million.

The one-day conference concluded with donor countries pledging a total of $2.4 billion to help the Syrian refugees. This exceeds the $1.5 billion raised during last year's International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria.

In the margins of the conference, the Iraqi delegation, led by Minister Zebari and including KRG Minister Mustafa, met with the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Najib Mikati, and Kuwait's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, to discuss bilateral relations, the Syrian crisis and the Geneva II Conference. 





President Barzani to the Kurdistan Review: Our strategy is one of openness to all countries

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - ( – The Kurdistan Region is open to any country that wants to engage with it politically and economically and to share in its development, President Masoud Barzani says in the Kurdistan Review, a publication launched this week.
The Kurdistan Review, published by Invest In Group, is a joint project in partnership with the Kurdistan Regional Government's Department of Foreign Relations (DFR). It consisted of three quarterly reviews published in 2013 followed by the annual review launched last week.
In the publication, President Barzani says, ‘Our strategy is one of openness, and extends to any and all countries that are interested in developing relations with the Kurdistan Region.’
Speaking about the strong ties between Kurdistan and Turkey, President Barzani says, ‘This relationship further reflects the idea that the modern world is based on mutual interests, particularly those relating to economics. Above all else, economics allows for development and the pursuit of solutions to complex problems.’
The Kurdistan Review's annual publication includes three supplements: a guide to key attractions in Erbil, a detailed document outlining the latest facts and figures across the Region reflecting its economic growth, and a start-up guide for businesses seeking to establish a foothold.
Invest In Group conducted over 100 interviews with high-ranking officials and executives from successful private companies operating in Kurdistan. The annual publication also contains new investment opportunities, strategies and projects by KRG ministries and departments.
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, signed the agreement with IIG in November 2012. Commenting about the launch of the publication, he said, 'This is the most comprehensive report to cover our key industries and economy. I believe it will present readers with the latest information about our continued growth, the areas where the authorities are seeking outside expertise and the many opportunities for trade and investment. Our broad aim is to show that Kurdistan is open to making new business and diplomatic relationships while maintaining old ones.'
Can Yirik, the Regional Director of Invest In Group, said, ‘During the  project, our team met with all the key figures from the public and private sector in order to present a comprehensive picture of the economy and to portray the most up to date economic developments in the Kurdistan Region.’

President Barzani Meets Acting Iraq Defense Minister

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – President Barzani today met with Iraq’s acting Defence Minister Sadoon Al-Dulaimi in Salahaddin.

In their meeting, Mr. Dulaimi briefed the President about the security as well as political aspects of the current crisis in the Anbar province, and Iraqi government’s response to reestablish peace and security in that province.

President Barzani reiterated that all sides should work together in the fight against terrorist groups. He also emphasized the need to resort to dialogue with the tribal leaders of the Anbar province to restore security in the province.




U.S. Vice President Biden Speaks with President Barzani

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani on Thursday. The two discussed the latest political and security developments in Iraq and expressed their support for the efforts by both Iraqi leaders and the local tribal leaders to fight the terrorist groups in the Anbar province. They also both emphasized the need for dialogue to address Iraq’s political challenges.

During the telephone conversation, the two also discussed relations between Erbil and Baghdad and agreed that the current exchange of visits and the talks to continue between the two sides with the aim of reaching understanding on the issue of oil exports from the Kurdistan Region.

President Barzani expressed his readiness to work with other Iraqi leaders to diffuse the current crisis. The U.S. Vice President emphasized the strong U.S. support for a unified and federal Iraq as defined under the Iraqi constitution.





President Barzani Hosts Annual Diplomatic Corps Meeting

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, today hosted the foreign diplomats and representatives from international organizations based in the Kurdistan Region in order to discuss the latest political and economic developments in Kurdistan as well as in Iraq as a whole.

At the outset of the meeting, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Falah Mustafa briefed President Barzani about the priorities and activities of the Department of Foreign Relations including enhancing relations and cooperation with the foreign diplomatic representations in the region. Minister Mustafa added that the KRG is constantly working to improve and expands its ties with the international community.

‘The number of foreign diplomatic representations is constantly growing and we will soon witness the opening of the consulates of China, Kuwait and Bulgaria, and with this the number of foreign diplomatic representatives will increase to 29. In collaboration with diplomatic missions, we have managed to increase the number of commercial flights between the Kurdistan Region and the outside world.’

Minister Mustafa went on to say, ‘I want to thank those countries which have offered their assistance to the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan. I also want to thank those countries which have offered their support to the KRG in its efforts to seek recognition of the crimes against the Kurdish people as genocide.’

In his remarks to this annual gathering, President Barzani wished the members of the diplomatic corps a Happy New Year and then shed light on a number of key issues facing Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, particularly the efforts currently underway to form the new KRG government, the crisis in the Anbar province, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, and participation of the Kurds at the upcoming Geneva II conference on Syria.

‘We know that the government formation process has taken longer than we expected, but we wanted to form a broad-based government that included all political sides. We want to form a government that will maintain stability and calm and provide services to the people, a government that will lead to four years of harmony and development,’ said President Barzani.

Regarding the latest security situation in the Anbar province of Iraq, President Barzani said, ‘We are concerned about the security situation in Iraq and particularly in Anbar. This crisis is the result of an accumulation of problems which the Iraqi government should have addressed in the past. There is a danger that this crisis may spread to other provinces. We believe that the intervention of the Army will probably make the crisis more complicated.’ The President added that the Iraqi government must respond to the legitimate demands of the people Anbar and prevent the fight against terrorists from turning into sectarian strife between Shiites and Sunnis.

Regarding ties between Erbil and Baghdad, the President said: “There has been an exchange of visits and currently talks are underway between the two sides to reach agreement on the outstanding issues, including on Article 140, on funding for the Peshmerga forces and on oil and gas. We are ready to play a role in addressing the challenges facing Iraq, but it is important that no side is marginalized in the political process.” He also expressed his hope that the planned Iraqi parliamentary elections are held on time in April of this year.

President Barzani also talked about the humanitarian situation of the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan and the participation of Syrian Kurds in the planned Geneva II conference.

‘There are now more 250,000 Syrian refugees in Kurdistan. In addition to this, there has been an increase in the number of internal refugees from Anbar province, as well as the thousands of Arab and Christian families which have sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region in the past. All this has put a lot of strain on the KRG resources and we ask the international community to assist us in hosting these large numbers of refugees.”

On behalf of the diplomatic corps, the Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyed Azim Hossaini, who is also the dean of the diplomatic corps, thanked President Barzani and the KRG Department of Foreign Relations for the this opportunity.

At the end of the meeting, a question and answer session followed, and diplomats had the opportunity to ask specific questions of the President.





The representative of Kurdistan Region Government in Tehran took part at Funeral Service of Palestine Ambassador’s wife in Iran

At the Monday evening, January 8, The representative of KRG in Tehran, comprised Shirzad Qhader Khorshid, Reza Mowlud Jowhar and Salam Aref Rashidi , Took part at the Funeral Service of the wife of Salah Al-Zawari, Palestine Ambassador in Tehran at the Noor mosque.  Mr. Al-Zawari acknowledged them for attending at Funeral Service. Some Iranian high rank officials and several foreign countries ambassador and representative attended at that Funeral Service. Such as Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif, the ministry of foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Ali- Akbar Salehi, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Dr Kamal Kharrazi, the former ministry of foreign ministry of Iran, Dr Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh, the ambassador of Iraq in Tehran, Dr Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, member of Islamic consolatory parliament of Iran and some other. Furthermore, some foreign countries ambassador and representative took part at that Funeral Service, such as Japan, Austria, Tunisia, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Sudan, Bulivia etc. 








The leader of Islamic Group surveyed the Representative Kurdistan Region in Tehran

Mamosta Ali Bapir, the leader of Islamic Society in Kurdistan Region surveyed the representative of Kurdistan Regional Government in Tehran. On Sunday’s midday, January 5, Excellency Mr Bapir surveyed the Representative of the Region in Tehran and welcomed by Mr. Nazem Dabbagh, the Representative of the KRG and Dr Mohammad Seddigh Ahmad, the Assistant of the Representative of KRG in Tehran. At that meeting, two sides discussed the situation of the region, Iraq and especially Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The leader of Islamic society of Kurdistan region positively evaluated the role of the representative of the KRG and attending of the representative of parties and political groups at the center of the representative of the KRG and also he wished to desire for them. Moreover, two sides discussed and dialogued about the attempts after parliamentary elections and establish new cabinet in Kurdistan Region.        






Kurdistan Region Presidency Lauds Iraqi Council of Ministers for Decision on Halabja

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region Presidency commends the Iraqi Council of Ministers for its approval of a draft proposal to promote Halabja, from district status to a province.

“We laud this decision by the Iraqi Council of Ministers, and hope that the Iraqi Council of Representatives also approves this as soon as possible,” the statement from the Presidency stated.

“We call on all parliamentary blocks in the Iraqi Council of Representatives to play their national role on this issue, as they did when they recognized the Anfal and the chemical bombing of Halabja as crimes of genocide. We further call on all Kurdish parliamentary blocks to work together and approach other parliamentary blocks to secure their votes on this draft law.”





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