President Nechirvan Barzani’s Newroz Statement

- 20 March 2020

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, March 20, 2020

The Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani wishes everyone a safe and happy Newroz. In his remarks, the president says that global cooperation is needed to defeat the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and urges the public to stay at home and follow protective measures. Below is the full statement:

I would like to congratulate the families of our fallen heroes, my fellow citizens in Kurdistan, the Kurdistanis of the diaspora and all the nations who celebrate Newroz around the world.

As we celebrate Newroz, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the medical teams, doctors, nurses, law enforcement authorities, police officers, security forces, the Peshmerga, the personnel at the airports and border crossings and all of the authorities who have been in the forefront of the battle against Coronavirus and its spread. While they are on the front lines of this crisis working hard to protect us, we must stay at home to support them and help facilitate their work.

We mark Newroz this year under difficult circumstances as the entire world faces the threats of Coronavirus. We must abide by the protective measures issued by the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s institutions.

Newroz is a symbol of victory and I hope it gives everyone strength in the face of these difficulties. We will overcome this crisis with the support and cooperation of our people and the relevant authorities. Since ancient times, the people of Kurdistan have celebrated Newroz by picnicking, traveling to the countryside and lighting fires. Given the circumstances this year, we must stay at home and follow the protective instructions. Let us light a candle and celebrate Newroz at home, as we wish to overcome this difficult time. Eating outdoors and traveling to the countryside are traditions that we shall maintain after these hard times have passed.

My fellow citizens,

The Kurdistan Region must continue to maintain peace, unity, and cooperation among all political parties. Everyone must act responsibly and in accordance with the supreme interests of the Kurdistan Region. The Kurdistan Region Presidency will continue to work towards this objective.

In regards to the political situation in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region will remain cooperative and committed to finding solutions to the country’s issues and to maintaining peace, stability and political consensus in Iraq. We will support a government that addresses the legitimate grievances of all citizens in Iraq while safeguarding the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region.

The world is passing through hard times due to the Coronavirus outbreak. This pandemic has brought unforeseen conditions for the health and the economies of all communities around the globe. Managing it requires global partnership and coordination. The Kurdistan Region will continue to support the international and regional organizations, which should act swiftly in order to contain the harmful impacts of this pandemic.

May God protect Kurdistan, our people, and everyone around the world. I wish you all a Happy Newroz. I hope that future celebrations will be held in safer conditions.

Nechirvan Barzani
Kurdistan Region President