Kurdistan Regional

Kurdistan Regional (497)

Prime Minister Barzani addresses Kurdistan Parliament’s Oil & Gas and Legal Committees

Erbil, Kurdistan (KRG.org) – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday conducted a lengthy meeting with the Kurdistan Parliament regarding natural resources policy and budgetary matters.

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Dr. Yousif Mohammed, heads of the parliament’s political blocs, the Oil & Gas Committee, and the Legal Affairs Committee all participated in the session. The Prime Minister, Minister of Natural Resources Dr. Ashti Hawrami, and KRG Council of Ministers Legal Advisor Dr. Amanj Raheem answered questions from Members of Parliament and discussed oil export and the road forward.

An excerpt of the Prime Minister’s address is below, as well as his response to two questions from Members of Parliament.

Prime Minister’s address

“The issue of energy is highly important to us. It has no relations to party politics, nor is it a personal matter. It is related to the Kurdistan Region in general and in reality it is quite a sensitive issue and it is essential that the Parliament, in its role as the legislative institution, be fully informed on the details of this issue. Our policy has been created within the framework of the laws that have been established by the Kurdistan Parliament and hence the parliament should be privy to all the details related to this issue.

“The big question is: ‘who will control the oil’? Counterparts in Baghdad did not identify ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ KRG actions – they just wanted to control the issue completely. We do not view this issue as a path towards Kurdistan’s independence, but rather as the expression of our constitutional rights. These rights are the constitutional principles upon which we agreed when we returned to Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and they have to be implemented in Iraq.

“If Baghdad today agreed with us upon the issue of oil revenue sharing, one of Iraq’s most important laws, it would lead to the resolution of a number of obstacles related to this issue. However if I speak frankly, Iraq’s federal government increases the sovereign expenditures year after year without the Kurdistan Region’s knowledge, and this is reduced from Kurdistan’s share of the Iraqi budget.

“At a time when Baghdad regularly increases its sovereign expenditure, the burden placed upon the KRG increases and citizens’ expectations of the government, in terms of services, are considerable. This is the right of citizens, and they are fully entitled to these demands. In addition, we have a large number of civil servants on the government payroll in Kurdistan. For your information, 850 billion Iraqi dinars per month are spent on the salaries of civil servants. This is a very large figure and it needs to be addressed. It cannot continue in this way.

“In order to reach international standards…we need more than $US 31 billion to meet the demands for infrastructure in Kurdistan such as highways and roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other essential needs.

“We are determined to carry out our constitutional rights and to ensure that we receive from Baghdad the full 17% of the Kurdistan Region’s share of the budget.

“In last week’s session we provided solid clarifications. And today we have come here because without doubt esteemed Members of the Kurdistan Parliament, as members of the legislative institution in Kurdistan, have many questions that they would like to see answered. The aims of Members of Parliament are to determine whether the KRG’s oil policy will be successful or not, as well as to understand the government’s future plans. This includes the manner in which the KRG plans on spending the revenue we receive.

“We want to address these questions openly and transparently in Parliament today so that we can reach a mutual consensus regarding the energy issue in Kurdistan. And just as Speaker of Parliament Dr. Yousif explained, we want energy to be a national issue and to resolve doubts about its transparency. We are ready to answer these questions in front of the Kurdistan Parliament, as it is our legislative institution, and so we are ready to attend any time to be questioned and to be held accountable.

“We fully believe that the achievements of the KRG are in the best interest of the Kurdistan Region, and are in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution. We are confident. But the task is not easy; in fact, is it quite difficult.

“The main requirement for the success of this process is a united stance among all of Kurdistan’s political parties on this issue.”

Responses to questions from Members of Parliament

In response to questions from Members of Parliament regarding the position of the United States, Prime Minister Barzani stated that the policy of the United States is and has been to support both Baghdad and Erbil in efforts to reach an agreement, as has been reiterated by American diplomats on every occasion. The KRG wished that, when considering the oil issue, the United States had pointed to Baghdad’s unilateral and unconstitutional decision to cut the Kurdistan Region’s share of the budget. The KRG resorted to exporting oil following Baghdad’s decision to cut the budget of the Region, an act that has affected the payment of salaries of civil servants. The KRG has been forced to pursue a solution because of this action.

In response to questions regarding the agreement between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey, the Prime Minister stated, “We should not view this issue as political. We have held meetings with our Turkish counterparts over a lengthy period of time, and it culminated in a protocol for long-term cooperation on energy issues and is subject to extension. The agreement was a result of a long series of meetings. We do not consider this to be a political move to divide Iraq. That is not the case.”





Prime Minister Barzani reiterates KRG commitment to Iraq’s international obligations

Erbil, Kurdistan (KRG.org) - In a meeting held yesterday with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani reiterated that the Kurdistan Region is committed to all international obligations related to Iraq. This includes Iraq's commitment to compensate countries through oil revenues, as per relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The latest developments in relations between Erbil and Baghdad, energy issues, efforts to finalize the KRG's eighth cabinet, and the Iraq government formation process were topics of discussion in the meeting. The Prime Minister emphasized that the KRG oil policy is fully in line with the federal constitution of Iraq.

The UN Special Representative stressed the need for genuine effort to form a new Iraqi government as soon as possible through dialogue and agreement among the country's various political parties. He also offered his congratulations to the people of the Kurdistan Region for the agreement that has led to the formation of the KRG's eighth cabinet.





President Barzani Meets Gorran Movement Leader

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRP.org) – President Masoud Barzani met with the leader of the Gorran Movement, Nosherwan Mustafa in his office in Salahaddin today.

The meeting focused on the political and security developments in the country, and KRG preparations to confront any threats facing Kurdistan. Both sides welcomed the unity and the common position adopted by the Kurdish parties, and stressed that the new political and security situation in Iraq calls for a thorough and careful approach. 





Masoud Barezani’s Condolences to Abbas Kamandi’s Family

Masoud Barzani, the president of Kurdistan Regional Government, on the occasion of Abbas Kamandi’s death, declared: I got worried when found out Abbas Kamandi, the famous Kurdish artist, died.


Masoud Barezani also expressed his condolences to the artist’s family and the Kurdish artists by a message as follows:


For the Family of the Famous Artist Abbas Kamandi:

When finding out the artist Abbas Kamandi’s passing away I got concerned. Abbas Kamandi served outstanding work in the fields of singing, painting, poem and play-writing to the art and culture of Kurd for years, and its effect are sensible and respected.

The loss of this artist was a great grief to Kurdish art. I should like to express my condolences to Abbas Kamandi’s family and the artists of Kurdistan I too share your grief. I demand may Great God be gracious to him and grant us peace.

We are for Great God and we will return to him.


Masoud Barzani


The president of Kurdistan Regional Government








Foreign Secretary welcomes Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Barzani to London, on his first official visit to the UK

London, United Kingdom (gov.UK) - Foreign Secretary William Hague and Prime Minister Nechirvan Idris Barzani discussed relations between the UK and the Kurdistan Region, Iraq’s recent elections, and human rights issues.

Speaking after the meeting the Foreign Secretary said:

"I was pleased to welcome Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Barzani to London today. The Prime Minister’s visit is a chance to celebrate the warm relations between the UK and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, with links in areas as diverse as trade, education and culture, and to reaffirm the UK’s desire to remain the Region’s partner of choice on all of these issues."

"I congratulated the Prime Minister on the progress that has been made in the Kurdistan Region over recent years, and the relative stability and security that has been achieved despite the violence in other parts of Iraq, and in neighbouring Syria."

"We also discussed the recent elections in Iraq, and the next steps towards the formation of a new federal government. I encouraged the Prime Minister, and other Kurdish parties, to remain fully engaged in this process."





President Barzani Meets Italian Foreign Minister in Rome

Rome, Italy (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani arrived in Rome on Wednesday to meet with the Pope and Italian government officials.

During his two-day visit, the President held separate meetings with the Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, President of the Italian Senate, Mr. Pietro Grasso, and with the chairman and members of the senate foreign relations committee.

The meetings focused on bilateral ties, the political developments in Iraq- particularly after the recent parliamentary elections, the Syrian refugees, and the situation of Christians in Iraq and in Kurdistan.
In the meeting with Foreign Minister Mogherini, she said she is pleased with the status of her country’s economic and political relations with the KRG and that her country will soon upgrade her country’s diplomatic representation to a full consulate general.

On the situation of refugees in Kurdistan, the foreign minister commended the KRG for taking in refugees not only from Syria, but also Arabs and Christians from other parts of Iraq. She expressed her country’s willingness to help the KRG in its efforts to support these refugees.

The two also discussed the political developments in Iraq and efforts to form a new government after the recent elections. In this regards, President Barzani said that the Kurdistan Region has formed a unified negotiation team for talks with other Iraqi parties. He stated that the people of Kurdistan cannot wait another ten years for their legitimate and constitutional demands to be addressed. If these demands are not addressed, then the KRG leadership would ask the people of Kurdistan through a referendum to decide on their future relationship with Baghdad.





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