Kurdistan Regional Government
SAT, 29 APR 2017 12:19 Erbil, GMT +3

The Kurdistan Region in Brief

• With a population of 5.2 million and increasing, the four governorates of Erbil, Slemani, Duhok and Halabja cover approximately 40,000 square kilometres - larger than the Netherlands and four times the area of Lebanon. This includes the governorates administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government but does not include areas of Kurdistan outside of KRG administration, such as Kirkuk.

• The Region is geographically diverse, from hot and dry plains to cooler mountainous areas with natural springs and snowfall in the winter.

• Foreign visitors are warmly welcomed. Among the growing number of visitors are international media and business people as well as those returning from the Kurdish Diaspora.

• Not a single coalition soldier died in Kurdistan during the Iraq war, nor has a single foreigner been kidnapped in the areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). With the cooperation of citizens, the Kurdistan Region’s security forces have kept the area safe and stable. Security responsibility was formally transferred from the Multinational Forces to the KRG in May 2007.

• The capital and the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government is Erbil, a city known in Kurdish as Hawler. The Citadel in Erbil is considered the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement. The next largest cities are Slemani and Dohuk. Please note that Slemani is the KRG’s official English spelling, but it can also be found with other spellings such as Sulaimani, Suleimani, Sulaimaniyah, and Suleimaniah.

• The Kurdistan Regional Government exercises executive power according to the Kurdistan Region’s laws as enacted by the democratically elected Kurdistan Parliament. The current government, led by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, assumed office in the spring of 2014.

• Iraq’s Constitution recognises the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Kurdistan Parliament as the region’s formal institutions and the Peshmerga forces as the Region’s legitimate security guard.

• The current coalition government consists of several political parties that reflect the diversity of the Region’s population, which includes Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriacs, Turkmen, Yazidis, Arabs and Kurds living together in harmony.

• More than 65% of destroyed villages have been rebuilt since being razed during the Anfal campaign perpetrated by Saddam Hussein’s regime in the 1980s.

• The Kurdish language is of Indo-European origin and is among the family of Iranian languages, such as Persian and Pashto, and is distinct from Arabic. The two main dialects are Sorani and Kurmanji.

• The Kurdistan Region has 11 public universities and several licensed private universities. Some of them use English as the main language of teaching and examination, most notably the University of Kurdistan Hawler (UKH) and the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani (AUI-S).

• A new, liberal foreign investment law was ratified in June 2006, providing incentives for foreign investors such as the possibility of owning land, up to ten-year tax holidays, and easy repatriation of profits.

• To rapidly benefit from its oil and gas resources, the KRG has signed dozens of production sharing contracts with companies from 17 countries.

• The Kurdistan Region has international airports in Erbil and Slemani, with direct flights to and from Europe and the Middle East. A new international airport is under construction in Duhok.

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Prime Minister Barzani receives Belgian Deputy Prime Minister

WED, 26 APR 2017 17:49

Prime Minister Barzani stressed that the referendum for self-determination, which the Kurdistan Region intends to hold, is a natural right of the people of Kurdistan. He reaffirmed that serious dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil should be engaged, where the international community can play a role.

Mosul IDPs in Kurdistan Region rise to 164,000

WED, 26 APR 2017 13:54

Since the start of military operations in October 2016 to liberate the City of Mosul, the number of internally displaced persons, IDPs, who have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region has risen to 164,000 people. They are mainly located in camps in Erbil and Duhok Governorates.

Statement by KRG Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs on Turkish air strike

WED, 26 APR 2017 09:36

Prime Minister Barzani and German Foreign Minister discuss bilateral relations

FRI, 21 APR 2017 15:56

KRG Council of Ministers Easter message to Christians

SUN, 16 APR 2017 12:22

KRG statement on the 29th anniversary of Anfal campaign

FRI, 14 APR 2017 12:09

Prime Minister Barzani discusses the situation in Kurdistan and Iraq with UK delegation

THU, 13 APR 2017 21:30

Prime Minister Barzani and Iraq’s Foreign Minister discuss regional situation

THU, 13 APR 2017 12:45

Prime Minister Barzani condemns Sunday’s terrorist attack in Egypt

MON, 10 APR 2017 11:11

Prime Minister Barzani condemns Friday's terror act in Sweden

SAT, 8 APR 2017 11:29