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Prime Minister Barzani: KRG priority is the protection of the Kurdistan Region

SUN, 15 JUN 2014 14:22 | KRG Cabinet

Prime Minister Barzani and UN SRSG Mladenov

Erbil, Kurdistan (KRG.org) – KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday received the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, and explained that his government’s first priority is the protection of the Kurdistan Region.

The Prime Minister’s meeting with the UN representative

In the meeting, discussion centered on the latest security and military developments in the governorates of Ninewa, Tikrit, and Diyala, as well as the situation of the displaced people from these governorates, particularly Ninewa. Over the last few days hundreds of thousands have fled and entered the Kurdistan Region’s Erbil and Duhok governorates.

The UN envoy lauded the KRG, which he said has from the very beginning provided shelter, aid, and assistance to the displaced. He also thanked the relevant KRG institutions for their assistance and cooperation with UN agencies in providing this aid.

Prime Minister Barzani reiterated that while the KRG would continue to assist the displaced people to the greatest extent possible, his government needs international support. He urged UN agencies to play their role in providing aid to the displaced and deal with their plight diligently.

The Prime Minister condemned the terrorist acts, pointing out that the current issues facing Iraq cannot be settled through the use of force or armed confrontation. He emphasized that political settlement should be reached. He clarified to the UN special representative that the KRG had tried to help the Iraqi government prior to the events in Mosul, warning Baghdad about the threat, but the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Prime Minister rejected the Kurdistan Region’s suggestion. The Iraqi government claimed that it did not need any help and that the situation was under control.

The joint press briefing

In a joint press conference following the meeting, the Prime Minister explained that Iraq is currently facing significant danger. He said that the only way to overcome this is the establishment of appropriate cooperation between the KRG and the Iraqi federal government in order to confront this danger together.

On the political front, he added that it is essential that all of the various components of Iraqi society, Sunni and Shia Arabs and Kurds, form a council that represents them all. Hence it is essential to hold the first session of the next parliament as soon as possible in order to ensure the continuation of the political process.

He also explained that in order to cooperate and coordinate with Baghdad, the KRG had been in contact before the latest development and remains in continuous talks with the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister as well as with the other parties, which is normal and necessary.

He added that the Peshmerga forces had assisted the Iraqi soldiers who fled. He said, "We assisted them within our means, helping them safely return to their cities, such as Baghdad and other areas in Iraq."

Regarding the Turkish consulate in Mosul and those detained by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), Prime Minister Barzani said, “We condemn everything that has happened in Mosul, including what took place against the Turkish consulate as well as what happened in the city of Mosul in general. Despite having no contact with ISIS, we are prepared to do what we can, within our capabilities, to free the hostages of the Turkish consulate.” He added, “I would also like to reassure companies operating in the Kurdistan Region that the area is safe and that they can resume their work.”

In response to the last question, the Prime Minister pointed out that when Kirkuk was threatened, the office of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki officially asked the KRG to take over the headquarters of the 12th Division of the Iraqi Army in order to ensure that no security problems arise.