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Prime Minister Barzani's remarks to Kurdish media in Davos

THU, 25 JAN 2018 23:50 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil- Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – After holding meetings with world leaders in the sidelines the World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani spoke to Kurdish media agencies in Davos.

Below is the transcript of Prime Minister Barzani's remarks:

Question: You held important meetings. The first was with the Prime Minister of Iraq and then with the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. What did you discuss or agree on?

PM Barzani: We had a range of meetings in the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. We had a short meeting with Prime Minister al-Abadi. We also held meetings today with the U.S. Secretary of State. In these important meetings, we discussed latest developments and also the committees that have been formed between both the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.  Airports bans, salaries, and dams were also discussed.

We agreed to hold further meetings, particularly on the issue of oil. We have agreed to hold another meeting next week in order to reach some agreement. We cannot expect to reach agreement on all the issues at the same time. The issues are serious. But we believe that, before the elections are held, some important issues such as airports, salaries, God willing, will be resolved.

Question: We would appreciate if you could give us an idea of concrete results of the meetings and with whom you are scheduled to meet next week?

PM Barzani: Our visit will continue tomorrow as well. We will have some meetings tomorrow as you are aware. But I cannot say with whom exactly we will meet tomorrow.

Regarding "concrete results", I think that the results of the meetings were generally very good. We had good meetings. This conference itself is an opportunity to be able to meet with other leaders and Europeans and those who attend the conference. One cannot expect a major outcome out of the meetings, but the important thing is that it becomes an attempt to meet people and exchange your views and ideas with them.

Question: The people of Kurdistan expect a promising response from you on how Baghdad will resolve salaries issue and the reopening of airports. Baghdad has said you have agreed to handover all the oil to Baghdad.

PM Barzani: Baghdad's statment is actually far from the truth. We have not even talked about this point. We expressed our concern regarding the statement, saying they did not have to issue such a statement because we have not talked what's mentioned in it. It is unfortunate that they published it in this way. The Kurdistan Region’s stance is very clear. The Kurdistan Region wants to resolve its problems within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. We have said this in the past and reiterated it again here.

Question: What was the significance of the meeting you had with the U.S. Secretary of State?

PM Barzani: We held an important meeting. We talked about our meetings [Iraqi Prime Minister] and steps taken with Baghdad so far. He said, it was a good opportunity. We will discuss them later with Baghdad. He was optimistic that we [Erbil and Baghdad] will eventually reach an agreement.

Question: It has been reported that Abadi and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet. Is this true?

PM Barzani: I do not know. I am not aware of that. We have no plans to meet President Trump.

Question: As you are expected to reach an agreement with Baghdad soon, is it necessary to hold another meeting with Abadi next week to cement the agreement?

PM Barzani: We are hopeful that we will reach an agreement. We will not miss any opportunity to reach an agreement, which will be in the interest of Kurdistan and Iraq.