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Halabja designated as Kurdistan Region's ‎fourth province

SAT, 15 MAR 2014 10:58 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (KRG.org) – On Thursday 13 March Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani formally designated Halabja as the fourth province of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. At the press conference following the ratification Prime Minister Barzani said, "I hope the actions of the KRG today have met the desires and the aspirations of the dear people of Halabja, and I hope that we have been able to bring some joy to the citizens of Halabja a few days before the anniversary of the horrible attack on the city 26 years ago."

During a meeting with a number of KRG officials and the visiting delegation from Halabja, Prime Minister Barzani said that Halabja is a symbol for all of the oppression and suffering endured by the people of Kurdistan. He added that the decision to legally declare it a province was more than a gesture of kindness but a decision of genuine importance to the KRG. The Prime Minister highlighted that the decision had already been agreed by the Kurdistan Region Parliament in 1999. Prime Minister Barzani also noted that the KRG addressed this issue and implemented this decision in coordination with the Federal Government of Iraq so that Halabja can benefit from the same privileges enjoyed by all Iraqi provinces.

The delegation of representatives from the province of Halabja included the mayor, representatives of administrative institutions, the Organisation of the Victims of Halabja, Islamic scholars, and members from civil society organisations and different political parties. The delegation welcomed the decision by the KRG. Members of the delegation said that the people of Halabja had been eagerly awaiting this decision.

Following the meeting and official signature by the Prime Minister, participants attended a press conference where the executive decree was read aloud. Speaking to the press, Prime Minister Barzani congratulated the people of Halabja and expressed his pleasure that all political parties in the Kurdistan Region stood with a united voice in supporting this decision.