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Kurdistan Region raises new Iraqi flag

SUN, 10 FEB 2008 16:04 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org). Representatives of the federal government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) joined President Masoud Barzani to raise the new Iraqi flag at the Kurdistan National Assembly in Erbil today.

The KRG has until now refused to fly the Ba'ath era flag and instead used the 1958 version of the Iraqi flag in official ceremonies. Following a speech by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, the redesigned flag was raised by Adnan Mufti, Speaker of the Kurdistan National Assembly. The federal parliament in Baghdad approved the new design last week.

Prime Minister Barzani said, "The raising of this flag in this place should be understood as the concrete expression of our participation in a new Iraq."

Affirming the Kurdistan Region's full commitment to Iraq, the Prime Minister said, "Some in Iraq have not welcomed the change in the flag's design. They misunderstand our position. Our desire for a new design is not an attempt to weaken the Iraqi national identity. The Kurdistan Region, as part a federal and democratic Iraq, is committed to the Constitution and respects all the decisions and laws of the Iraqi Parliament. We want our decisions and views to be respected because we have chosen this position willingly."

Drawing parallels with other countries that have emerged from dictatorships, the Prime Minister said, "I recall well the pictures in the 1990's of Romanian and Russian students carrying flags with the center cut out after the fall of the communist regimes. For them, it became unthinkable that they could fly the flag under which they were oppressed, and for us, moving to a new flag is a natural and easy process which reflects our commitment to the new Iraq."

Emphasizing the new Iraq the KRG is committed to creating, Prime Minister Barzani said, "This new flag is the product of negotiation and compromise by a range of Iraqi politicians. Through democratic process and parliamentary discussions, all parties agreed on this flag. It is a symbol of the new state that we can all be proud of. It is a flag which calls us to look forward to the bright future and frees us from the memories our dark past."

The flag raising ceremony was attended by the representatives of the Iraqi President, Prime Minister, and Speaker of the Federal Parliament, and foreign representatives to the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Press Contact:
Falah Mustafa Bakir, Minister
KRG's Department of Foreign Relations

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Prime Minister’s speech at Iraqi flag raising ceremony

SUN, 10 FEB 2008 19:35

Dear Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Morning, Welcome to you all.

I would especially like to welcome our honorable guests from Baghdad: The representatives of the President and Prime Minister of Iraq and the representatives of the Iraqi National Assembly. I would also like to welcome the representatives of the countries that have offices and consulates in Erbil.