President Nechirvan Barzani’s New Year Message
Erbil, Kurdistan Region – December 31, 2020
The President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, issued a congratulatory message on the occasion of the New Year. Below is his full statement:
On the occasion of the New Year, I extend my warmest wishes to all my fellow citizens, especially the families of our fallen heroes, and to the people of Iraq, representatives of countries in our Region, and allies and partners.
People throughout the world are united in facing a new year with the firm hope of overcoming the challenges caused by Covid-19. We remember all those who have fallen victim to this pandemic; my heartfelt condolences go out to all families who have lost their loved ones.
We seek peace and prosperity for all during the new year and beyond. As 2020 comes to a close, the Kurdistan Region continues to struggle to be treated in accordance with the Constitution of Iraq, which was passed overwhelmingly in a nationwide referendum fifteen years ago. The Constitution emphasizes federalism that serves and supports all parts of Iraq so they may contribute to the success of the country.
Instead, the Kurdistan Region continues to face antagonism, punitive measures, and, indeed, cruelty. Failure of the central government to support the Kurdistan Region with a fair share of national revenue intentionally disrupts public services and threatens its people.
With patience and goodwill, over two weeks Kurdistan Region negotiators removed all obstacles for a lasting resolution. Passage of the Budget Deficit Bridge Bill, however, deprives the Region’s public servants of salaries and their legitimate financial entitlements.
In accordance with previous agreements, the central government has failed to fulfill its obligations. In effect, the national government, including the Prime Minister and his cabinet, should never have accepted this injustice. Unconstitutional punishment of the people of the Kurdistan Region demonstrates the inadequate will to resolve disagreements.
We reiterate our commitment to reach a lasting agreement on the basis of the Constitution that ensures, without prejudice, the rights and entitlements of all the people of Iraq. In this regard, we welcome the influence and support of the United Nations and other members of the international community.
Within the Kurdistan Region, regrettably, political divisions are exacerbated by irresponsible social media. The duty and responsibility of all political elements in the Region are to promote and protect our personal security and relative political stability. This is not about blind compliance but about active, peaceful participation in processes that promote improved governance.
The Kurdistan Region faces two basic imperatives:
· Reaching a just agreement with the national government in accordance with the Constitution.
· Ending destructive disunity that adversely affects the lives and livelihood of all our people.
We offer our respect and appreciation to the people of the Kurdistan Region for their understanding, patience, and resilience. We honor our brave Peshmerga and all other security forces for their devoted service. During this pandemic period, we offer our sincerest gratitude to our physicians, nurses, and all other health providers who serve on the frontline against this global disease.
The Kurdistan Region will remain an essential factor for peace and stability in Iraq and the greater region. On the basis of mutual interest, we will continue to strengthen ties with neighboring and other countries. The Kurdistan Region will also continue to cooperate and coordinate with allies and partners whose mission and support continue to be required for the security of the country.
In contributing to a peaceful and prosperous Iraq, to the greater region and the world, together, with unity and common purpose, our decades-long experience confirms we can overcome hardships and crises. With optimism, we look forward to a brighter future with consensus, tolerance, coexistence, and mutual respect.
Happy New Year to everyone. I wish you all a year full of joy and success.
President of the Kurdistan Region