Rudaw demands end to media ban in Iraq, Turkey, and Rojava
Rudaw Media Network has sent New Year’s greetings to its audiences here in the Kurdistan Region and around the world, wishing them peace, democracy and prosperity as well as "better protection of lives and professions of journalists."
Shifa Gardi, Rudaw's reporter and anchor, was killed by a roadside bomb in February 2017 while covering the war between Iraqi forces and ISIS militants in Mosul. The network praised her courage and talents, adding that she is still "in our hearts."
The Network stated that it is still unaware of the fate of Farhad Hamo, a Rudaw reporter who was kidnapped by ISIS in Syrian in December 2014.
Rudaw said it hoped all restrictions imposed on it by various actors will be lifted in 2018: a media ban on Rudaw operations by authorities in Syrian Kurdistan, Rojava; an order by Turkey's communication authorities to stop Rudaw's broadcast on Turksat satellite; and a decision by the Iraqi government that bans Rudaw operations in areas under its control.
KDP hopes Baghdad will lift punitive measures imposed on Erbil
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) extended its congratulations on the new year to the people of Kurdistan, expressing its hope that the Kurdistan Region will find the "right path" to solve its many problems in order to secure prosperity in the new year.
The party said it hopes the people of Kurdistan, including the Kurdish parties, will walk towards "unity and brotherhood."
It explained that the people of Kurdistan "expressed their will" through a peaceful and democratic process on September 25 on the question of independence. "But unfortunately they faced collective punishment, blockade, war, military incursion," and regional cooperation against the Kurdistan Region.
"We hope that the pressure of those unjust punishments against our nation to be lifted in the new year," read the KDP statement that also praised the Peshmerga for their defence of the nation and democracy.
Masrour Barzani, Kurdistan Region's National Security Advisor, stated that the Kurdish nation is going through a difficult time because of punitive measures taken by Iraq and supported by regional countries, against the independence vote.
He hoped that Baghdad will stop the measures it took in response to the referendum and will accept the KRG's repeated demands for open dialogue within the framework of the Iraqi constitution.
He wished that 2018 will be about peace and prosperity.
With regard to ongoing crises in the Kurdistan Region, including political stalemate, he demanded that the Kurdish parties prepare for general elections in 2018 to help to solve the problems.
PM Barzani sees meeting challenges in 2018 with ‘resilience and unity’
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani sent New Year’s wishes on Twitter, saying “I am certain that with our people’s resilience and unity, we can overcome the current challenges in 2018.”
President Fuad Masum welcomes Iraqi unity in 2018
2017 was "the year of our people's great victory over terrorism," said Iraqi President Fuad Masum in a published statement on extending New Year's wishes to the nation. "This victory would not have been possible without the strength of our national unity and the heroism and sacrifice of our people."
"As we bid farewell to 2017 with confidence in the future of our country, we welcome the new year with greater determination to strengthen the unity of Iraq and protect our co-existence on the values of citizenship, justice, brotherhood, and mutual care."
He expressed hope that 2018 will see those who are displaced able to return to their homes, successful elections, and an end to hardship for all Iraqis.
Kurdistan ex-President Barzani wishes a happy new year
The former president of the Kurdistan Region wished people a happy new year, and global peace and prosperity.
"Happy New Year to the people of Kurdistan. May 2018 bring more peace and prosperity to the entirety of the world," read a tweet from Barzani on Sunday.
Barzani stepped down as president of the Kurdistan Region on November 1. He remains the leader of the KDP.
PUK politburo hopes Kurdistan responsible, sensible in 2018
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan hopes for a stronger national unity next year, where the political parties can come together and improve living conditions for its people and the economy.
“On occasion of the advent of New Year 2018, we congratulate Kurdistan nation in all parts of Kurdistan and wherever they are in the world. We hope for a happy and lucky New Year,” PUK politburo said in a statement released on Sunday.
The PUK, with its power base in Sulaimani and Halabja provinces, witnessed protests that turned deadly and remains distanced from the close relationship it once had with the Change Movement (Gorran) and other parties in the Kurdistan Region.
“We hope for stronger national unity in this New Year, that political parties in Kurdistan with a spirit of responsibility and sensitivity to the situations, political problems are resolved, steps are taken through the harmony and unity of our nation and political parties to resolve the crises, internal problems of the region, living conditions of employees are improved and Kurdistan economy is revitalized.”
With the loss PUK co-founder and statesman Jalal Talabani in October, the party seeks to unify ahead of elections this spring and regaining influence in Kirkuk and nearby areas.
“We also hope that outstanding problems and dossiers between the regional and central [governments] are fundamentally solved in this new year through dialogue and negotiations, on the basis of the permanent constitution of Iraq and national agreement, and that this unwelcome situation imposed upon Khurmatu and some disputed areas is ended.”
FM Mustafa: Priority in 2018 is to address economic hardship
Falah Mustafa, the head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, acknowledged that this year has been rough for Kurdistan, but its people have been resilient.
"2017 has been a bittersweet year in Kurdistan. I commend our brave Peshmerga and selfless people for their heroism and resilience," said Mustafa, the Kurdistan Region's foreign minister.
Mustafa expressed hope that Iraq and Kurdistan can reach prosperity and the KRG's prior to address economic hardship in the Region.
"KRG priority in 2018 is to address economic hardship facing our people. I hope the new year will bring peace and prosperity to Kurdistan, Iraq and the world."
HDP: We urgently need peace, democracy, freedom and equality
Jailed co-chair of Turkey's pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party urged everyone on Sunday to come closer in the new year.
“What we urgently need is peace, democracy, freedom and equality, and I believe we will reach closer to these values in 2018. I wish a happy year to everyone,” wrote Demiritas in a tweet.
Demirtas, 44, has spent more than 400 days in pre-trial detention on 31 terror-related charges, which he denies. If convicted, he faces up to 142 years in prison.
His arrest and charges, coming amid Turkey’s post-coup crackdown on civil society, have drawn condemnation from rights monitors and activists.