New Kurdish PM promises to strengthen Kurdistan, introduce widespread reforms
Erbil (Kurdistan 24) — The new Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, on Wednesday promised to strengthen the autonomous region and introduce reforms in all government sectors.
Barzani on Wednesday took his oath of office, confirming him as the new Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region following parliament’s majority vote, 88, approving his appointment and his cabinet.
#BREAKING: The Kurdistan Parliament by majority vote approved all ministerial candidates for the new @Kurdistan cabinet headed by Prime Minister @masrour_barzani.#NewKRGcabinet #TwitterKurds #Iraq pic.twitter.com/Zcuvpx9gTx— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) July 10, 2019
“After working since September 2018 to put together a truly inclusive government, my commitment now is to work together with every party and every part of our nation to build a strong Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that serves the people, not the other way around,” Barzani said during his inauguration.
“We cannot succeed in building a strong government if we allow petty divisions and small disagreements to drive us apart.”
The former Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) called for further progress in developing a stable and constructive partnership with the federal government of Iraq.
“Erbil and Baghdad both want security and prosperity, built on a foundation of mutual respect and cooperation,” he continued.
“This will include securing our rightful share of government revenue by settling once and for all the distribution formula that determines the annual budget allocation for Kurdistan.”
The new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet, headed by Prime Minister @masrour_barzani, taking a group photo inside the halls of the Kurdistan Parliament after being approved by majority vote.#TwitterKurds #NewKRGcabinet #Iraq pic.twitter.com/F50CLQ9a4a— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) July 10, 2019
Regarding the Kurdistan Region’s economy, Barzani highlighted the region's over-reliance on oil and gas, and promised to overhaul the public sector.
“We must ensure our government serves the people of Kurdistan in a fully transparent and accountable manner,” the senior Kurdish official added.
“This will include securing the public finances to pay down our debts, introducing regulatory reforms that allow businesses to thrive, attracting more foreign investment and enabling the development of new infrastructure.”
Today we inaugurated a new Kurdistan Regional Government, marking a new era for Kurdistan. My commitment now is to work together with every party and every part of our nation to build a strong Kurdistan region for all- mb. pic.twitter.com/4gNElmOlMu— Masrour Barzani (@masrour_barzani) July 10, 2019
Barzani also called on the international community to support the new KRG and its reform program, while helping to protect the region’s status as a haven for persecuted and displaced people.
SHORT BIO ON MASROUR BARZANI
Born in 1969 in Erbil’s Balakayati area, Barzani became a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter at the age of 16 in 1985.
He is married and has three sons and a daughter.
Barzani earned a degree in International Studies at the American University in Washington DC, and continued his post-graduate studies in Peace and Conflict Resolutions at the same university.
In 1998, he returned to the Kurdistan Region and was elected as a member by the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) 12th Congress to the Central Committee.
In 2010, he was elected to the Leadership Council and then selected as a KDP Politburo member.
In 2012, he was appointed by then-President Masoud Barzani as Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) to oversee the region’s security, military intelligence, and intelligence services.
Masrour Barzani founded the Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF) in 2005, which has played a key role in providing humanitarian aid to displaced people, refugees, and people in need across the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and abroad.
He played a crucial role in the fight against the Islamic State since 2014.
Barzani is the founder of the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok, which opened in 2014, and acts as the AUK’s Chair of the Board of Trustees.
He speaks Kurdish, English, Persian, and Arabic.