Kurdistan Regional Government
SAT, 27 MAY 2017 10:58 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.

Latest Articles

Prime Minister Barzani: Independence unites us towards achieving common goals.

WED, 24 MAY 2017 19:19

Good morning, before I start my speech, I would like to extend my condolences to the families of the victims of Manchester terrorist attack, which killed 22 people and wounded nearly 60 others. I stand in solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom and share their pain. This attack once again is a proof that terrorists don't target only one place or one country, but it's an international threat facing all of us. We Kurds are proud to have been in the forefront of the war against these terrorists. More than 1,700 Peshmergas have lost their life in the fight against terror and nearly 10,000 are wounded. This shows that the international community must work harder to defeat terror militarily and ideologically, which I believe that defeating the ideology is much harder. Once again, I extend my condolences to the city of Manchester.


Prime Minister Barzani condemns Manchester terror attack

TUE, 23 MAY 2017 14:20

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani strongly condemned Monday's terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester, whcih killed and wounded a number of civilians.

Prime Minister Barzani's statement on the passing of Nawshirwan Mustafa

FRI, 19 MAY 2017 16:56

Prime Minister Barzani meets US Special Presidential Envoy

MON, 15 MAY 2017 18:54

Prime Minister Barzani’s message on the inauguration of France’s new President, Emmanuel Macron

SUN, 14 MAY 2017 14:47

Prime Minister Barzani meets Patriarch of Assyrian Church of the East

THU, 11 MAY 2017 22:25

Prime minister Barzani and South Africa Ambassador discuss bilateral relations

THU, 11 MAY 2017 22:04

Prime Minister Barzani meets British special envoy

WED, 10 MAY 2017 17:14

Prime Minister Barzani meets Italy's new Consul General to Erbil

TUE, 9 MAY 2017 09:43

Kurdistan Regional Government to reform its armed forces with the support of International Coalition

MON, 8 MAY 2017 13:23