Kurdistan Regional

Kurdistan Regional (461)

President Barzani Meets Syrian Kurdish National Council

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with leaders and representatives of 12 Syrian Kurdish parties that are part of the Kurdish National Council.

In this meeting, the attendants briefed the President about the latest developments in the Syrian Kurdistan and their activities in the Kurdish National Council. As per an agreement reached in December of 2013, the Kurdish National Council and the Kurdish People’s Council would have joint control of the Pishkhabor border crossing, but now the border is controlled only by the Kurdish People’s Council.

President Barzani reiterated his backing for a unified position among the Syrian Kurdish parties, and he would support any decisions made by consensus by all sides.

 

 

 

 

President of the Kurdistan Region Meets German FM Steinmeier in Berlin

Berlin, Germany (KRP.org) – The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, met the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin yesterday.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomed President Barzani to Germany and spoke about his visit to Erbil back in 2008, highlighting his desire to visit Kurdistan again soon. He added that he was aware of the rapid developments happening in Kurdistan and reiterated Germany’s commitment to working closely with Kurdistan to further strengthen bilateral relations.

For his part, President Barzani expressed his pleasure at the opportunity of once again meeting Foreign Minister Steinmeier and expressed his hope that the Foreign Minister would indeed visit Kurdistan again soon to witness first-hand the developments in the region. He added that the Kurdistan Region views its ties with Germany with great importance.

President Barzani, briefed Minister Steinmeier on the current situation in Kurdistan, the recent security developments in the Anbar province, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections in April, the issue of oil exports via Turkey and the impact of the Syrian crisis on Kurdistan and on Iraq.

On the political challenges facing Iraq and especially the security crisis in the Anbar province, the President said, “It is important that a comprehensive solution is found for the problems facing Iraq, and the real solution is for Iraq to be committed to a federal system, which is a basic principle in Iraq’s constitution.”

“It is equally important that all sides work together in the fight against terrorism, especially at a time when they have increasingly grown in strength and now constitute a real threat to the whole region.” He highlighted the roots of the security problems in Anbar and some of the other Iraqi provinces and said that this has become a source of instability to all Iraq.

The President stressed the importance that all political groups in Iraq remain committed to holding the parliamentary elections on time, scheduled in late April this year.

On the KRG policy of exporting oil via Turkey, the President reiterated that ties between Kurdistan and Turkey are based on mutual interests, and that these ties would also serve the interest of Iraq in general. In addition he highlighted the legality of the Kurdistan Region's hydrocarbon policies which are in adherence with Iraq’s constitution.

Finally both sides discussed the latest regarding the formation of a new government in Kurdistan with President Brazani emphasizing that the priorities for Kurdistan are to maintain its security and to continue developing the Region and its economic infrastructure to improve the standards of living for all the people of the region.

The meeting was also attended by the President’s Chief of Staff, Dr Fuad Hussein, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa and the KRG Representative to Germany, Dilshad Barzani.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement on Postponement of President’s Visit to Washington DC

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRP.org) – In response to inaccurate media reports about the postponement of President Barzani’s visit to Washington, D.C., Kurdistan Region Presidency Spokesman Omed Sabah said in a statement that it was President Barzani who decided to postpone the visit to a more convenient date.

“In fact all preparations were already made by the U.S. Administration, and dates were set for meetings with senior Administration officials and the U.S. President. But President Barzani made the decision to postpone his visit to a more convenient time. This was a subject of discussion in the telephone conversation between the U.S. Vice President and the Kurdistan Region President on Friday,” said the statement

 

 

 

 

President Barzani Meets Dutch Prime Minister in Davos

 Davos, Switzerland (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani arrived in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday to participate in the annual World Economic Forum.

In his first engagement at the Forum, the President met with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Dutch Prime Minister said he is pleased that there has been a lot of progress since their meeting last year in Davos, and hoped that these ties can further go forward between the two sides.

President Barzani concurred with Prime Minister Rutte about the progress in relations and also expressed KRG readiness to further enhance bilateral ties, adding that the visit by the Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmerman to Erbil in September 2013 was a clear sign of the progress in bilateral ties.

The two also discussed the plight of the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections in April, the current security situation in Anbar province and the threat of terrorism.

Prime Minister Rutte praised the KRG for hosting such a large number of refugees and said they realize this put a great burden on the KRG resources.

“We now have about 250,000 Syrian refugees, mostly Kurds, in Kurdistan. For us, it’s both a humanitarian and national obligation to look after them. I hope the international community will be more forthcoming in providing aid to the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan,” said the President.

On relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the President said that there is no dialogue between the two sides, and expressed his hope that all the outstanding issues between the two can be resolved through these talks and within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution.

 

 

 

 

Kurdistan Region President Addresses EU Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee

Brussels, Belgium (KRP.org) - Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today addressed a special meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Union’s Parliament in Brussels.

In an event attended by a large number of MEPs, in his address the President talked about the latest political and security developments in Iraq, in Kurdistan and in the wider region.

He called on the EU parliament to show solidarity with the people of Kurdistan and called on them to help seek recognition of the crimes against the Kurdistan people in Iraq as crimes of genocide. He said, “We would like you to show solidarity with the rights of the people of Kurdistan. We also call on you to expend all your efforts to recognize the genocide against our people.”

The President attributed the relative stability and security in Kurdistan, to the policy of tolerance and peaceful co-existence between the various religious and ethnic communities in Kurdistan.

“In the aftermath of the 1991 March uprising in Iraqi Kurdistan, we did not set out seek revenge against the people who oppressed us. Again, after the fall of the regime in 2003, we did not take resort to revenge against anyone. We opened a new chapter with our own people and with others, and this greatly helped us focus our efforts on rebuilding our country and lessen the pains and suffering of our people. As a result of this policy, the Kurdistan Region enjoys a high degree of security and stability,” said the President.

Following the President’s address, a number of MEPs posed questions to the President, and they all hailed the important progress that Kurdistan has made in the areas of security, stability, and economic development. They particularly commended President Barzani’s leadership and the KRG for their generous policy of hosting large numbers of refugees and the religious tolerance that prevails in Kurdistan.


Full text of the address delivered by the President:

First, I would like to thank the EU Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee for inviting us here today. There is no doubt that the EU has an extremely important role to play and there is considerable potential for cooperation in many areas between the EU and Federal Iraqi Government as well as the KRG, particularly in economic and trade interest. As you are aware there is an agreement between the EU and the Iraqi Federal government, We hope the KRG will have a role to play within the framework of this agreement, to bring closer together the EU and our country, and the EU parliament and the Kurdistan Region.

I would like to here today to just briefly you of the tragic situation of the people of Kurdistan. They have suffered because of a number of hostile campaigns aimed at them in Iraq. We have been victims of chemical weapons and the infamous Anfal campaign in which 182,000 people disappeared, of which we have only been able to recover the remains of about 4,000 of them from mass graves across the southern Iraqi deserts. The search continues for the remaining victims. In the chemical attack on Halabja, in the space of just a few minutes, 5,000 innocent civilians, mostly women and children, were gassed to death.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We in the Kurdistan Region have adopted the policy of tolerance and peaceful co-existence and the accepting of each other. In the aftermath of the 1991 March uprising in Iraqi Kurdistan, we did not set out seek revenge against the people who oppressed us. Again, after the fall of the regime in 2003, we did not take resort to revenge against anyone. We opened a new chapter with our own people and with others, and this greatly helped us focus our efforts on rebuilding our country and lessen the pains and suffering of our people. As a result of this policy, the Kurdistan Region enjoys a high degree of security and stability. This has also helped many international companies from different countries to come to invest in Kurdistan. As a simple example, before 2003, per capita income in Kurdistan was less than 500 US dollars; now it is more than 5000 US dollars. We are at the beginning of the road in building democratic institutions, and we need your help and expertise to build these institutions. We would like you to show solidarity with the rights of the people of Kurdistan. We also call on you to expend all your efforts to recognize the genocide against our people. We also would like you to work with the relevant parties to establish an EU representation office in the Kurdistan Region, which would help enhancing economic ties between Kurdistan and the EU countries.

We would also like to urge you to support the political process in Iraq on the basis of the Iraqi Constitution and democracy and federalism, and in the fight against terrorism. Unfortunately, terrorism has become a dangerous phenomenon targeting all the peoples of the world. We ourselves have suffered a great deal from terrorism, but we are steadfast in our fight against it, as there is no other way in dealing with terrorism.

We have adopted the policy of tolerance and religious freedom. Women in Kurdistan play their role in building our society and institutions. We now host 250,000 Syrian refugees, mostly Kurds, but there are Arabs and Christina among them too. We are also hosting 200,000 Iraqi Arabs from center and south of the country, who fled to Kurdistan from threat of terrorism and in search of security. There are now 10,000 Christian families who have also fled from other parts of Iraq. In addition to this, some 15,000 people from the Anbar province have fled to Kurdistan.

We are proud of the fact that Kurdistan has become a haven for so many people. However, I must point out that the assistance from the international community for these refugees has not been in par with the assistance provided to refugees in other countries in the region.

As a factor of stability, we in the Kurdistan Region will continue with our policy and do all we can with other Iraqi groups to resolve our problems and to build the institutions of the state. We reiterate our commitment to the Iraqi Constitution. Once again, I would like to ask you for your support and assistance. Thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Barzani Starts Official Visit to Europe

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region Presidency Chief of Staff, Fuad Hussein, said in a statement that President Masoud Barzani along with a KRG delegation began a visit to a number of European countries on Wednesday.

Fuad Hussein said that the President is scheduled to meet a number of world leaders and officials. He will also attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where is due to meet several leaders and attend a number of sessions on the economic and political developments in Kurdistan, in Iraq, and in the wider region.

Kurdistan Region Presidency Chief of Staff Fuad Hussein, KRG Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami, and KRG Head of Foreign Relations Department Falah Mustafa will accompany the President on this visit.

 

 

 

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