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PM Barzani on elections, Iran sanctions, KRG economy

By Rudaw 8/8/2018
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Photo: Rudaw TV

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on Tuesday that the September 30 parliamentary election will be held as planned, denying reports that the United States had asked for its postponement.


"Reports that Brett McGurk has asked us to postpone the elections are not true. There have only been talks on whether or not there will be elections and the answer is yes, there will be and on time." Barzani told reporters in a press briefing.  


The prime minister said that since the October 2017 events which caused the Kurdistan Region a series of setbacks: "The situation in the Kurdistan Region and our relations with the region and the world are normalized. My last visit was to Turkey where I attended the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Turkey. Our relations are normal. We always want to have the best and friendly relations with our neighbors." 


In response to a question about the new US sanctions on Iran and Kurdistan Region's stance, Barzani said, "Regarding the American sanctions on Iran it is not clear to us yet, but the position of the Kurdistan Region will certainly be the same as Iraq's. The Kurdistan Region will act within the framework of Iraq's position and obligations about those sanctions. We've asked the US and Iraq to give us a clear idea about those sanctions."


Barzani also reassured people that the economy was getting back on its feet and that things had started to look up for the region. 


"We see the situation here improving day after day," he said. "One indication is that the payment of salaries is no longer a big issue as it once was. And of course I thank all government employees for their patience. This is about to be permanently solved. We also see investments resuming, slowly but steadily. And economically people are more optimistic. We had four very difficult years. Those four years we were inside a dark tunnel, but now there is light at the end of the tunnel and that makes me optimistic about Kurdistan Region's economy.

McGurk confirmed the US stance it is up to the KRG and parliament to set a time for election.

"PM Barzani is correct! We made clear that timing of elections is an internal matter and ultimately up to leaders of the Kurdistan Region and its Parliament taking into account all of the circumstances in the Region and Iraq. Contrary rumors are untrue," tweeted McGurk on Wednesday.

Last updated at 6:45 p.m.


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