Duhok, Kurdistan Region/Photo by Diyar Shahbaz on Unsplash

Live: The PUK is preparing for February elections, says Rewaz Faiq

Newest first
Newest first
Oldest first
See latest updates
See one new update
See new updates
No posts for now

The ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel could redefine Kurdistan's global political standing, according to an analysis by Ziryan Rojhelati, the director of Rudaw Research Center (RRC). The RRC is alleged to have ties to the KDP and Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani.

Rojhelati believes that the conflict may shift focus towards Kurdistan's geopolitical importance, especially following a period of marginalization after the ISIS crisis. The analysis suggests that Hamas’ recent actions highlight Iran's consistent pressure on Kurdistan, relating to opposition groups in the east. It’s emphasized that the conflict enhances Iran’s political maneuvering relevance in the region.

The unfolding conflict has been likened to the outbreak of hostilities in Gaza and Israel, with an added layer: the portrayal of the Iraqi supreme court as being influenced by Iran, as it faces accusations of executing Tehran’s interests.

Rojhelati also discusses the strategic importance of Kurdistan in the broader regional conflict. If Kurdistan were to take sides, it would significantly impact the region due to its strategic location and military capabilities. Kurdistan’s potential support is seen as influential, whether to Western powers, such as the United States and its ally Israel, or Iran, emphasizing its role as a critical land route accessing various conflict zones.

Interestingly, the analysis refers to a legal development where the Federal Court reversed a previous decision, allowing the KDP to return to its Kirkuk headquarters following the escalation in Gaza. This legal shift is perceived as having a strategic undertone linked to the broader conflict, where the court, believed to be packed with Iran sympathizers, seemingly plays a part in the geopolitical chessboard.

The Israeli-Hamas conflict has the potential to be a transformative moment in the Kurdistan Region's global political positioning, which had experienced a period of marginalization in the aftermath of ISIS. Primarily, the unforeseen offensive by Hamas underscores the geopolitical significance of Iran's sustained pressure on the Kurdistan Region concerning the eastern opposition groups over the past year. This pressure, in the current context, acquires enhanced political relevance.

Emergency meeting convened by PM Sudani over crisis in Israel and Palestine

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani held an urgent meeting with the Coordination Framework forces on October 14, discussing the crisis in Palestine.

The forces condemned what they referred to as a "continuous assault" in these territories, expressing concern over what they say is the targeting of civilians and a severe blockade on the Gaza Strip. They pointed to an escalating humanitarian crisis due to these actions. Israel denies targeting civilians, asserting that Hamas operates within civilian areas, complicating military operations.

Appreciation was expressed for supportive stances from the Iraqi government, public, and various national institutions. The forces commended ongoing solidarity demonstrations and encouraged their continuation.

The participants also praised the government’s diplomatic efforts in supporting the Palestinian people and urged the Council of Representatives to adopt a unified stance against the observed violations.
Prime Minister Mohammed S. Al-Sudani Convenes Emergency Meeting of Coordination Framework Forces to Address Palestinian Territories Developments  ...... Prime Minister Mohammed S. Al-Sudani convened an emergency meeting of the Coordination Framework forces to discuss the ongoing developments in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Coordination Framework forces strongly condemned the continuous Zionist assault in the occupied Palestinian territories, the targeting of civilians, and the harsh blockade imposed by the occupying authorities on the Gaza Strip, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis for the Palestinian population. They urged the international community to fulfill its obligations and take action to halt the violations perpetrated against the Palestinians. The participants expressed their gratitude for the stance taken by the Iraqi government, the public, and the parliament, with special mention of the position of the supreme religious authority in Najaf. They encouraged the continuation of popular…

British ambassador visits the KRG's IT dept.

He was speaking at Meri Forum 2023 last week and toured the KRG's IT dept. to take "closer look on the developments [the] KRI is making in the digital sector and to underline the UK's support to its advancement."

The KRG has been on a digitalization drive recently.  Last week it launched more sign-up drives for the My Account initiative to fully digitalize payroll for public and private sector employees. 

More than one federal minister's in Erbil today

Masrour Barzani held a meeting with Ahmed Al-Mubarqa, the federal minister of youth and sports.

They deliberated on various aspects concerning the youth and the state of sports in both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

A significant focus during the discussions was the Kurdistan Region’s participation in international sports activities and tournaments. Both leaders emphasized the importance of organizing and conducting international sports events in the Kurdistan Region, intending to coordinate these efforts closely with the relevant federal agencies.

According to Bas News (an outlet close to PM Barzani himself) Mubarqa expressed a readiness to enhance cooperation and coordination in the field of sports, echoing a collective willingness to work closely with the pertinent authorities within the KRG

PM speech on KRG's anti-narcotics drive

Masrour Barzani at narcotics conference
Masrour Barzani at narcotics conference   credit: Kurdistan 24

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani addressed the ongoing struggle against the illicit drug trade and usage in the Kurdistan Region. He emphasized that a robust effort is underway to mitigate this issue, mentioning a law passed in 2020 aimed at reinforcing anti-narcotics measures. This legislation seeks cooperation from various administrative offices across the region for effective implementation.

Barzani also highlighted that the Kurdistan Region is not isolated in facing this challenge, indicating that the issue of narcotics is a global predicament. He pointed out that drugs have been utilized as tools to destabilize societies, particularly targeting the youth. Barzani noted the geographic strategic importance of the region, explaining that it has unfortunately become a conduit for the narcotics trade to access wider markets. He revealed that regions under dispute in Article 140 have been particularly vulnerable due to legal and security uncertainties, creating spaces that drug traffickers have exploited.

In response to the issue, Barzani mentioned the formation of a dedicated committee tasked with addressing the root causes of drug addiction and extending support to those affected. The aim is to facilitate the reintegration of addicts into society through strategic support mechanisms, including the establishment of rehabilitation centers.

Barzani advocated for a comprehensive, societal approach to effectively combat narcotics. He called on various sectors, including the media, academia, religious institutions, and the educational sector, to contribute to this collective effort. While expressing the need to support recovery for addicts, Barzani emphasized a strict approach towards those involved in drug trafficking, promising stringent measures against such activities.


Morning briefing

Hello! First blog of the workweek in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

  • The Iraqi interior minister is holding meetings with his KRG counterpart in Erbil this morning
  • The PUK's former speaker of parliament, Rewaz Faiq, says her party is preparing for February elections, rejecting rumors that they're angling for another delay
  • KRG PM Masrour Barzani delivers speech at anti-narcotics conference