People in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil begin their Newroz celebration on March 20, 2019. Photo: Muhammed Shwani | Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Diplomats and leaders from around the world are wishing people a happy Newroz on the occasion of the three-day new year festival celebrated throughout Kurdistan, Iran, and elsewhere.
"For all of us, it is a chance to reaffirm our commitment to peace, human rights and human dignity; to fostering dialogue and mutual respect; to protecting the planet and building a future that leaves no one behind," read a statement from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
more than 300 million people celebrate Newroz that coincides with the spring equinox.
"The International Day of Nowruz is celebrated in a spirit of friendship, reconciliation and harmony. I offer best wishes to all who are marking this observance," Guterres added.
The top US diplomat underscored the importance of the holiday for Iranians.
"On behalf of the American people, I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all families and individuals celebrating Newroz in the United States, in Iran, and all around the world," the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a tweeted video message.
He called Newroz "the most important holiday for the Iranian people."
"May the new year be filled with rebirth, health and prosperity. Newroz Mubarak!" added the US Secretary of State.
The Labour Party leader in United Kingdom spoke at a Newroz event in London and addressed the importance of Newroz to Kurds, especially those in Britain.
"I want to say thank you to the Kurdish community all over Britain for the contribution you make to our lives and to our society and for the joy you bring, particularly at this time of year,” he said in a statement during the event on Thursday.
The opposition leader in parliament said it is important for a country to appreciate its diversity.
"The magic of Newroz means so much, particularly to children — Kurdish children who have been born in this country, not necessarily having the chance to even visiting any part of Kurdistan but understanding where their cultural heritage and cultural background comes from,” he added.
The German Conulate General in Erbil wished all a very happy Newroz, while tweeting video of a celebration in Akre.
The French Consulate General Staff in Erbil extended "warm wishes to the the Kurdish nation on the occasion of Newroz."
"We wish a happy new year for every Kurdish individual," it added.
This is a developing story... Update: 12:51 p.m.