Kurdistan Regional

Kurdistan Regional (461)

Prime Minister Barzani holds meetings with visiting European delegations

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – Yesterday Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani held meetings with French Ambassador Denis Gauer, Chairman of the British Parliament’s Defence Committee Rory Stewart, and Polish Ambassador Stanislaw Smolen to discuss the current security and humanitarian situation.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to each delegation for the attention and support that has been extended to the people and the government of the Kurdistan Region during this time of crisis.

French Ambassador Gauer pays the Prime Minister a farewell visit

The Prime Minister thanked the French Ambassador for his significant role in expanding bilateral relations between Kurdistan and France throughout his tenure as ambassador in Baghdad, highlighting the crucial political decision taken by the French government to fully support Kurdistan during the current crisis. He wished Ambassador Gauer success in his future postings.

For his part, the Ambassador remarked upon the stability, security and progress achieved in economic and social fields in Kurdistan. He reiterated his country's continuing solidarity with the Kurdistan Region in light of recent events and emphasised that France supports the Kurdistan Region in its efforts to combat terrorism.

Ambassador Gauer recalled key telephone conversations between President François Hollande and President Masoud Barzani, also pointing to the important visit of the French Foreign Minister to Erbil last week and France’s role in urging the international community and European countries to support Kurdistan against the terrorists and provide assistance to the displaced.

Prime Minister Barzani provided an update on the progress of the Peshmerga forces and indicated that the KRG requires more international aid to assist the hundreds of thousands of displaced. The humanitarian crisis is extremely difficult and the relief operations needed are beyond the government’s capacity.

The Prime Minister also suggested convening an international conference for donor countries and international organisations to ensure full coordination of humanitarian assistance for the displaced people and refugees. Most reside in Kurdistan’s cities and urgent, well-coordinated assistance is needed to respond to the humanitarian crisis.

British parliamentarian Rory Stewart receives an update on security and humanitarian progress

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron requested that Member of Parliament Rory Stewart lead a delegation to Erbil to meet with KRG officials and receive an update on the latest security and humanitarian developments. Mr Stewart is the Chairman of the British Parliament’s Defence Select Committee.

Prime Minister Barzani updated the delegation on the recent advances of the Peshmerga forces on all fronts. He also discussed the latest developments regarding the situation of the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Yezidi Kurds from Sinjar, Christians from Mosul and elsewhere, and other displaced ethnic and religious minorities that have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region.

The Prime Minister restated the difficulty in providing adequate aid, noting that Iraq’s federal government has not provided any assistance and has still not released the Kurdistan Region’s budget, which has been withheld since the beginning of the year. The role of the international community in providing aid is therefore essential.

Both sides stressed the importance of international support for the Kurdistan Region’s fight against the terrorists, and the need for such support to continue, as the terrorists threaten the Kurdistan Region and ethnic and religious minorities in particular. Both agreed upon the need for continuous international aerial protection around Sinjar to prevent terrorist violence against minority civilians.

Prime Minister Barzani said that Iraq’s problems require political solutions. He noted that Iraq has fundamentally changed in character since the terrorists seized the city of Mosul, and therefore a new approach would be necessary to identify and implement solutions. He hoped that Iraq’s new government would bring all Iraqis together, represent the rights and the wishes of all ethnic and religious communities, and learn from the mistakes of the previous administration.

Polish delegation delivers tonnes of humanitarian aid to Kurdistan

Polish Ambassador Stanislaw Smolen and a delegation from Poland’s Foreign Ministry arrived in Erbil with a cargo plane of humanitarian aid for internally displaced people taking refuge in Kurdistan.

Prime Minister Barzani conveyed his government’s gratitude to Poland for supplying the much-needed assistance. He provided the delegation with the latest security update in the Region’s fight against the terrorists, including progress achieved by the Peshmerga forces, and both sides agreed on the need for international support for the KRG in combating the terrorist group.

The Prime Minister indicated that the KRG still seeks support and aid from the international community in general, and Europe in particular, in order to fight the terrorists and meet the basic needs of the displaced.

The Polish Foreign Ministry’s special envoy restated his country's support for Kurdistan and congratulated the Prime Minister on the victories of the Peshmerga forces. He highlighted the emergency meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers in which Poland reiterated its military and humanitarian support for the Kurdistan Region, adding that Poland has played a crucial role in supporting the KRG.

Prime Minister Barzani commended the delegation for Poland’s stance and called upon other European countries to come forward with military and humanitarian support to help assure Kurdistan’s victory, on behalf of the world, against the terrorists.

The Polish Foreign Ministry’s special envoy emphasised his country’s wish to send more Polish companies and businesspeople to Kurdistan to convey the message that the Region is secure for business, investment, and trade.

 

 

 

 

Prime Minister Barzani discusses Iraq's political process and humanitarian concerns with Lebanon’s Foreign Minister

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday received Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and his accompanying delegation.

The Prime Minister noted his appreciation for the visit. Foreign Minister Bassil is the first Foreign Minister of an Arab country to visit the Kurdistan Region since the terrorist attacks began in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. The Foreign Minister stressed that he came to the Kurdistan Region to convey his country’s solidarity and support.

Discussions centered on the political situation in Iraq, the impact of terrorists occupying parts of the country, the formation of the new government in Baghdad, and the importance of an inclusive government that represents all components of Iraqi society.

Prime Minister Barzani emphasised the need for substantive reform in Iraqi governance and the resolution of outstanding political issues in order to pave the way for a healthy political atmosphere. He said that the Kurdistan Region would participate in Iraq’s political process and negotiations.

The Prime Minister explained that the people of Kurdistan are proud of a culture of coexistence and tolerance that has been practiced in the Region for millennia. The KRG is committed to the protection of this culture and will exert all efforts and resources to ensure its continuation.

Both sides pointed to the importance of bilateral relations, discussing the dynamic presence of the Lebanese community in the Kurdistan Region. They discussed Lebanese involvement in trade, economic activity, development, reconstruction, and investment in the Kurdistan Region and how best to ensure and expand the mutually beneficial relationship.

Finally, the situation of displaced civilians and refugees currently in the Kurdistan Region was discussed. The Prime Minister described the extent of the humanitarian crisis and the need for urgent support from the international community.

 

 

 

 

French Ambassador pays farewell visit to KRG foreign office

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (DFR.KRG.org) – The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, yesterday received a farewell visit from the French Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Denis Gauer.

Minister Mustafa briefed the Ambassador on the current security and humanitarian situation on the ground.

Minister Mustafa expressed appreciation for France’s extraordinary support to the people of Kurdistan over the last two weeks. He said, “France has been extremely supportive since the beginning of this crisis, and the people and the government of Kurdistan Region are fully aware and very appreciative of the French Government’s actions.” He added, “The visit of the French Foreign Minister to Kurdistan conveyed a key message to the international community and encouraged other countries to come forward and provide assistance.”

Minister Mustafa highlighted the magnitude of the humanitarian situation in Kurdistan and restated his government’s call for urgently needed humanitarian assistance in order to address the crisis.

Ambassador Gauer reiterated that the government of France would continue to provide humanitarian and military assistance to the Kurdistan Region. The Ambassador stated, “We understand the security and humanitarian challenges facing the Kurdistan Region. We are fully committed to supporting the Kurdistan Region. We are also trying to mobilize members of the United Nations Security Council and the European Union to provide further support to the Kurdistan Region.”

Minister Mustafa thanked the Ambassador for his service and continued support for Kurdistan and wished him success in his future postings.

The French Consul General, Mr Alain Guépratte, and the Assistant Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Ms Siham Jabali, also attended the meeting.

 

 

 

 

Norway Foreign Miniter Calls President Barzani

Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende called President Masoud Barzanion on Monday to express his country’s support and solidarity for the KRG in its fight against ISIS terrorists. He also praised the peshmerga forces for their bravery and recent victories against the terrorist group. 


President Barzani thanked the Norwegian foreign minister and said that on behalf of the free world, the people of Kurdistan are proudly fighting a terrorist state, which has gained the advanced weapons from the armies of both Iraq and Syria. 

During their telephone conversation, they also discussed the plight of hundreds of thousands of IDP and refugees who have sought refuge in Kurdistan. On this, the President said that the KRG is now providing for the needs of more than 1.5 million people. 

 

 

 

 

Prime Minister Barzani allocates emergency fund of $25 million for IDPs

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Wednesday met the Governor of Duhok and administrative officials from the province to follow-up the situation of displaced people arriving from Sinjar, the Ninevah plains, and other areas.

The Governor of Duhok presented a summary of the situation of the internally displaced people (IDPs), most of whom are Yezidis, Christians, and members of other ethnic and religious minority communities from Sinjar and the Ninevah plains. The Governor noted that authorities and citizens in Duhok have done everything possible to assist the IDPs, but because of the vast number of displaced people, much more humanitarian aid is needed.

The Minister of Finance and Economy said that thus far only the KRG had shouldered the expenditures for assisting the displaced families, along with aid provided by the people of Kurdistan. He said that no other party had yet provided financial support. The Minister suggested that the situation would be dealt with as an exceptional circumstance in terms of regular financial guidelines, adding that the $15 million allocated by the Prime Minister had already reached the Duhok governorate.

Prime Minister Barzani emphasised that the KRG will continue to mobilise all efforts to support IDPs. He decided to allocate another $10 million in aid, in addition to the previous $15 million, to support the displaced people.

The Prime Minister pointed to the importance of meeting basic needs in the initial phases, to be followed by the provision of necessary services in camps to be built in some areas of the city. He conveyed his government’s gratitude for all the support and aid provided to the victims by the people of the Kurdistan Region and Kurds everywhere. He said that these loyal, patriotic, and humanitarian gestures are worthy of commendation.

The Minister of Planning presented a summary of the KRG’s coordinated efforts with international organisations assisting the government in providing aid to the IDPs. He said that the scale of the crisis has prompted many international humanitarian organisations to come to Kurdistan to help the displaced.

Prime Minister Barzani discussed the latest developments and highlighted the fact that the KRG has substantial international support. He stressed that the Peshmerga forces will defeat the terrorists and prevail with the arrival of required weapons and ammunition. However, the legacy of the barbaric acts committed by the terrorists will remain in the hearts of the victims of these areas and of the people of Kurdistan. Time, sensitivity, patience, and treatment are required in order to recover.

 

 

 

 

KRG reviews military progress and plight of the displaced

Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday chaired the KRG Council of Minister’s customary weekly meeting to discuss the current situation in the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani summarised the events that have taken place over the last two weeks, including the terrorist attacks. He highlighted the situation in Sinjar and the status of displaced Yezidis and Christians, explaining that he has been closely following the KRG response in the Duhok governorate. He indicated that this is a humanitarian crisis and requires international aid and support.

Acts committed against Yezidi Kurds constitute genocide

The Prime Minister emphasised that the crimes committed against the Yezidis by the terrorists constitute genocide by every measure, and these acts are the worst crimes perpetrated against the people of Kurdistan since the Halabja attack and the Anfal campaign. The KRG therefore requests that the Iraqi Council of Representatives formally recognizes the acts committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) against the Yezidi Kurds as genocide and treats the situation accordingly.

International and domestic support

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his gratitude to the United States of America, President Barack Obama, and European countries that responded to the situation and supported the Kurdistan Region. He reiterated that the KRG is receiving full support, as the Region is at the forefront of the world’s fight against terrorism. He added that the whole world must fight this battle together, and that the terrorists should be eliminated from Kurdistan, Iraq, and the wider region.

The Prime Minister thanked the people of Kurdistan, particularly the people of Duhok and Syrian Kurdish refugees residing in the Kurdistan Region. Despite being victims themselves, they have collected aid and provided support from the first day to assist the displaced people from Sinjar. He urged relevant ministries to assume responsibility for that which is required to assist the displaced. He also thanked the Ministry of Natural Resources for quickly making available the financial support to help relevant government bodies as they assist the displaced.

Peshmerga make steady gains, defense sector to be reformed

Prime Minister Barzani also pointed out that substantive military reform is underway. On the front, the Peshmerga forces are advancing in all locations. He said, “The horizon is bright, and what has happened will prompt us to review our shortcomings and mistakes and pay particular importance to defense sector reform.”

The Minister of Peshmerga Affairs explained that Peshmerga forces and other elements of the security apparatus are confronting the terrorists along the Kurdistan Region border, inflicting severe damage upon the terrorists. He highlighted that the absence of a national and professionally trained force in the Kurdistan Region is a weakness among the Peshmerga forces that must be solved. He also explained that plans to retake all of the locations overtaken by terrorists are currently under study. International support and the arrival of weapons from the United States and Europe continue, and the weapons will be distributed among the Peshmerga forces at the battlefronts based on a plan and according to their requirements.

KRG requires financial assistance to provide basic needs to displaced

The Minister of Finance and Economy requested special budget allocation and flexibility regarding the regular financial guidelines in order to provide urgent necessities to the displaced. He indicated that the humanitarian situation in the Duhok governorate is beyond the capacity of governorate and KRG officials and resources. Despite the difficult economic circumstances facing the Kurdistan Region, the Duhok governorate and local organisations quickly came to the aid of the displaced people, a gesture worthy of commendation. He reiterated that so far government bodies have not received any financial assistance. The necessities are so vast that the KRG should be provided with financial aid in order to support the internally displaced and refugees, he said.

Logistic, health, and educational considerations for the displaced

The Minister of Planning summarised the number and location of IDPs and refugees, indicating that most are in the Duhok governorate. He explained that there are more than 600,000 IDPs and refugees in the province, and 275,000 require immediate accommodation. There is now a census to register the number of displaced people and refugees caused by the recent events in order to issue identity cards and determine their locations and basic needs. The exact numbers remain unclear because they are scattered and reside in different locations because there are not enough camps to accommodate them.

The Minister of Health stated that there are currently no epidemic diseases among IDPs or refugees, but he fears such a situation could arise. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the health of the displaced and assure the provision of clean drinking water. He noted that the federal government is helping the KRG to provide medicine. Pharmaceutical companies are also helping the Ministry by loaning medicine.

The Minister of Education reiterated that accommodation should be provided to the displaced as soon as possible. If the schools currently accommodate them are not cleared before the beginning of the forthcoming academic year, approximately 500,000 students will be affected.

KRG presents highest honor to helicopter pilot al-Tamimi

The Council of Ministers expressed its condolences to the family of helicopter pilot Majid Abdulsalam al-Tamimi, who died in the helicopter crash while rescuing Yezidi civilians and delivering aid on Mount Sinjar. The Council declared that he is to be considered a martyr in the Kurdistan Region, and a statue will be dedicated to him in a public place in Kurdistan to ensure the memory of his actions. A formal letter of condolence will be sent to his family on behalf of the KRG.

Council of Ministers decisions

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani suggested the establishment of a special body to deal with emergencies, and the Council of Ministers decided to form a committee to study the establishment of such a body. It was decided to conduct a census to determine the exact number of IDPs and refugees and provide them with accommodation as soon as possible. The KRG will work with the relevant United Nations agencies in this regard.

The Council of Ministers decided to form a government committee to gather and document photos, video footage, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence in order to register legal action in international courts and assure that ISIS actions in Sinjar and surrounding areas are recognised as genocide. This would be applicable in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and at an international level.

The Council of Ministers applauded the unanimous United Nations Security Council resolution designed to disarm ISIS terrorists and its call to the international community to provide international aerial protection in Sinjar and surrounding areas to protect ethnic and religious minorities facing persecution by the terrorists.

Finally, the Council of Ministers congratulated Prime Minister designate Haider al-Abadi upon his nomination to form a new Iraqi government, expressing hope that this step can help to settle outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad.

 

 

 

 

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