President, Meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Says that There is Historical Opportunity to Resolve Pending Issues between the Federal Government and the KRG, Overcome Past Policy Mistakes, and Move Forward Toward Prosperous Future

2020/09/12

President Salih on Friday today at his residence in the city of Sulaymaniyah met with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi alongside his ministerial delegation.
During a walk around with PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi at the Mirgban district in Sulaymaniyah, President Salih said that there is an historical opportunity to resolve the pending issues between the central and regional Governments. PM al-Kadhimi expressed gratitude to His Excellency the President as he commended his important role to remove obstacles impeding the outstanding issues between the two Governments and the payment of salaries to the KRG's employees.
The following is President Salih's speech:
" I have the honor to receive my brother, my friend PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi at Mirgban district. I quote the words of Iraqi poet al-Jawahiri.
My feelings and my words are being given to Kurdistan.
A man can do his best by expressing his true feelings and his honest words
Peace be upon the Mountain(Kurdistan) that has sacrificed so much to get where we are."
" My dear, my friend PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi, you come to Kurdistan as you are from Kurdistan. You are amongst your own people. You know that these mountains have been always a safe place for free Iraqis in their struggle against dictatorship. Today, we have an historical opportunity to resolve the pending issues between the Federal Government and the KRG. I believe you to be trustworthy to resolve these problems so as to serve all Iraqis across all Iraqi Governorates including Erbil and Sulaymaniyah."
" We have a true opportunity to solve these problems, even though they have been accumulated over the past years. We have no illusion that you are working with your team with the support of the good people to solve these problems in a way that ensures the free and dignified life of all citizens and employees in Kurdistan Region and in south of Iraq as well, and guarantees equal rights and justice for all. I welcome once again your visit to Kurdistan."
In replying to President Salih's welcoming, PM Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said," I appreciate you; I agree with you on everything that you said. I know the scale of the challenges that we face as I understand the history of this region that was a safe place for me personally and for the group of friends."
" We would not forget what Kurdistan did for us. We would never forget that our sufferings are the same. We suffered in the 1970s, when our Kurdish people have been hosted by our people in the south of Iraq. Therefore, it was the same suffering when our people of the south and the rest of Iraq have been hosted by our Kurdish people in the 1990s."
" We need to learn from this historical relationship. We are going through difficult circumstances. We have to weigh the lessons of past experience. We have to admit that we have failed to establish a good government in Iraq since 2003. Now, we have to look for opportunities to turn this failure into a success story. To this end, we have to come together, you, me and all the good people.  God willing, we will succeed in building a better future for Iraqis."
" Thank you, Mr. President, for your efforts to lower barriers facing the Federal Government regarding the salaries and the Kurdistan Region's entitlements. You and our partners in Kurdistan and in Baghdad played an important role. Thank you very much Mr. President."
At the extensive meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister and his ministerial delegation, which was attended by governor of Sulaymaniyah Mr. Haval Abu bakir, political leaders from PUK, Movement for Change (Gorran Movement) and Kurdistan Islamic Union, President Salih emphasized that the pending financial issues between the central and regional governments need to be resolved in accordance with the constitution in the way that secures the salaries of Iraqi citizens including Kurdistan region's citizens, the financial dues of the farmers and meets their legal rights.
The President noted that There is an urgent need for a legal and fair settlement, making sure that federal budget funds and the Kurdistan Region's resources reach the hands of the recipients, securing a free and dignified life for all citizens.
Furthermore, he hailed the PM's visit to the Kurdistan Region. He wished this visit, which comes at the very critical stage, would be a serious chance to resolve existing disagreements in accordance with the constitution to guarantee the rights of all.
However, he underscored that continuing differences between the central and regional governments will reflect poorly on citizens' aspirations to guarantee stable economic conditions. He underlined that settling the outstanding files would boost the overall situation in the country, and advance us closer toward realizing the plans of developments and progress.
Emphasis was placed on the importance of strengthening security coordination and intensifying military efforts to face security challenges, address terrorism in addition to working on promoting security and stability.
At the concluding of the meeting, the two leaders discussed the recent political, security and economic situations in the country, and highlighted supporting the efforts of all aiming at providing requirements of holding elections guaranteeing its integrity as well as restoring people's trust in the electoral process. They also reviewed the developments of the health situation and the preventive and treatment measures to confront COVID-19.


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