PM Barzani visited Sulaimani and talked about national and regional issues
Premier Nechirvan Barzani called for the Iraqi federal government to honor the last agreement signed between the Kurdistan regional government and Iraqi government.
The Kurdish Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, visited the province of Sulaimani and met with the local officials to discuss the shortcomings of public services in the province. He also inaugurated the 400-bed public hospital which took the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) nine years approximately to build it. PM Barzani also participated at the commencement ceremony of the American University in Iraq-Sulaimani.
In a press conference held on May 30, the Premier Barzani stated that the major factor of the visit to Sulaimani was to inaugurate some projects as well as to closely deal with the problems and find solution for them. He added that a ministerial session held in the city, adding that the city has been appointed as culture capital of the Region and it was discussed in detail in the meeting.
Lack of money in the banks
The Prime Minister added that the issue of lack of money in the banks is not only a problem in Sulaimani but it also exists in other provinces. Barzani said: “One of the main reasons behind this problem backs to Iraqi government that delays the Kurdistan’s national share.” He added that part of the problem has been resolved and the KRG strives hard to totally fix the problem.
Barzani said that the KRG has been strived hard to solve the fuel crises during the fifth, sixth and seven cabinets in order to become independent in the sector of fuel. “There was no infrastructure in the region before 2004 to provide enough fuel and producing electricity.” He said the KRG has been started that policy since 2004 because Kurdistan’s fuel share has been over the past years decreased by Baghdad. After constructing the fuel infrastructure and refineries, Barzani says, I assure all the people that fuel crises will end and the cabinet’s efforts to put an end to the problem continues.
The upcoming elections
During the press conference, Barzani said: “There is no indication that the upcoming Kurdish elections will be postponed.”
The draft constitution
and the reactions
Regarding the recent heated debates over the constitution, PM Barzani said Kurdistan President, Massoud Barzani, did not say the draft constitution must be put to referendum. He also added that the legal procedures have been a few years ago finished to put it to referendum. “The policy of Kurdistan President and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is to find a way to solve the issue based on national consensus. He said that the issue of returning the draft to Kurdistan Parliament is a legal issue. Legitimacy of the oil contracts The Prime Minister said that the oil contracts signed with the international oil companies operating in the Kurdistan Region are based on the Iraqi constitution. “Iraqi federal’s constitution has given the right to the KRG to sign oil contract and the oil companies which are now operating in the region are famous companies,” he said.
Barzani added that the contracts have been displayed on the KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources very transparently and the revenue came from the sale of the oil had been spent to rebuild the infrastructure of Kurdistan. “I, as the Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region, assure you that the process is transparent.”
KDP-PUK strategic alliance
The Premier Barzani said that the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP) and PUK will remain strategic alliance and will hold joint meetings to talk about the important issues. He said the PUK’s leadership have the same opinion as the KDP and say national consensus is needed over the draft.
Peace process in Turkey
Regarding the ongoing peace process in Turkey, Barzani said that the Iraqi government concerns the Kurdish cause in Turkey as an internal issue but it is concerning about the withdrawing process of the PKK fighters to Kurdistan in Qandil Mountain.
Inauguration of 400-bed
PM Barzani in his visit to the province of Sulaimani inaugurated the 400-bed public hospital which took the KRG nine years to finish it. Barzani said it is a great achievement for the KRG to finish the project even it has been taking several years.
Barzani in AUIS
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani attended at a commencement ceremony at the American University in IraqSulaimani (AUIS) on Thursday May 30, 2013.
The ceremony was presided over by Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Barham Salih, former Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region, and AUIS President Dr. Athanasios Moulakis.
Around 1,000 student family members, friends and eminent guests such as Deputy to Kurdistan President Kosrat Rasul Ali and a number of the governmental ministers as well as foreign figures were taken part in the event held on the university’s campus.
Salih, Chairman of the Board, honored the consecutive supports of the Premier Barzani and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Speaking at the commencement ceremony, Barzani congratulated the graduate students and their families. He stated that the KRG is always ready to assist the university.
“The KRG has stepped forward in many fields, especially in the field of education that’s why the level of illiteracy has dropped that much in our region.”
Despite the shortcomings, he says, the cabinet is striving hard to resolve the problems. “I am sure that we are on the right direction,” Barzani added.
Barzani also added that the KRG will continue on the Human Capacity Development Program (HCDP) which funds the skilled student to get scholarship in the foreign universities.
Addressed to the students directly, PM Barzani said you have learned during the past four years at the university that peace is the best choice for coexistence, development and solution of the disputes.
“I do hope the knowledge you have gained will give the peace process that the KRG has chosen a great power in order to resolve the problems with dialogue peacefully.”
The KRG is, Barzani says, not a threat over any power or state but also it is the factor of peace and stability in the region. He said, for instance, the Kurdistan Regional Government has had a great role to develop many fields in Iraq.
He honored the Chairman of the University’s Board, Salih, who tried hard to establish the AUIS in the first place.
KRG and central disputes
Regarding the disputes between the KRG and the federal Iraqi government, Barzani stated, “We have several problems with Baghdad which are not resolved yet.”
“I discussed the disputes with Prime Minister Nuri Maliki frankly in my last visit to Baghdad.” Barzani added that he told the Iraqi officials to honor the agreement this time. “Honoring the agreement will pave the way to solve all the other problems.”
The Prime Minister stated that the Kurds will insist on their demands to fully implement the constitutional article 140 on the Kurdish areas outside the KRG’s administration, their share of Iraq’s budget, Baghdad’s funding for Peshmarga forces and the rights to develop the Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas sector.
“We should not be shy in seeking our own rights,” Barzani said, adding that there are some parties treat the Kurdish rights as sort of shame.
He said the Kurds will commit to the Iraqi constitution and that the Iraqi government has to appreciate this Kurdish commitment.