ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – On Wednesday, senior Kurdish and Iraqi leaders and foreign diplomatic missions congratulated Masrour Barzani on lawmakers' approval of his nearly-complete newly-formed government and of his official ascendency to the post of Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Earlier that day, eighty-eight members of the Kurdistan Region Parliament confirmed Barzani’s nomination as the new PM and voted in his chosen cabinet.
The crucial post of the Minister of Natural Resources, the equivalent to an oil ministry, remains vacant for now as the candidate has yet to be chosen by the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
“My commitment now is to work together with every party and every part of our nation to build a strong KRG that serves the people, not the other way around,” Barzani said during a speech he gave before the legislature, where he promised widespread reforms aimed at tackling chronic issues in the federal region that also plague Iraq as a whole: increasing transparency, reducing bureaucracy, and modernizing the economy.
Iraqi President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi both separately called Barzani to congratulate him on the occasion. A statement from Salih’s office said he voiced his “support” for the new PM and his cabinet and wished him success in his tenure at the top regional post. Speaker Halbousi also welcomed Barzani on his new role and said that he hoped it would lead to “improving” Baghdad-Erbil ties, a key part of Barzani’s agenda for the future of the two administrations.
The prime minister's father and head of the KDP, Masoud Barzani, tweeted, “I will completely support him in pursuit of the interests of the people of the Kurdistan Region,”
Kurdistan Regional President Nechirvan Barzani, who just left the prime minister post, praised Masrour Barzani for his capabilities as a leader and assured that he would deliver “good and desired results” and wished for the best as the two work forward to “reconstruct and further advance” the region.
The Consulate-General offices in Erbil of the United States, France, Greece, and South Korea also all issued similar sentiments. All said they looked forward to working together, with the French mission stressing Erbil-Baghdad talks to continue to improve ties between the two governments.
“Congratulations on the formation of the new Kurdistan Regional Government. The #United_States looks forward to working with the new government to advance our shared interests,” the US Consulate in Erbil tweeted.
Editing by John J. Catherine