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 Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

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Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief  28.3.2011   

March 28, 2011 -  Sulaimaniyah, Erbil-Hewler, Duhok, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Gorran meets with ruling parties tomorrow

Erbil: A leader from Gorran (Change) Movement said his party is to meet with the ruling parties tomorrow, Tuesday, Kurdish weekly magazine Rudaw reported. Qadir Haji Ali, a leader from the major opposition party in the Kurdistan Region said Monday’s meeting between his party on the one hand and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), on the other, was postponed to Tuesday. The anti-government displays which have swept Sulaimaniyah, one of the three provinces of Kurdistan for over a month have intensified the tensions between opposition and the dominant parties. The tripartite meeting strives to settle the rising tensions. “We decided to meet in one of the halls of Kurdistan parliament in Erbil with the representatives of KDP and PUK, without the presence of government and lawmakers,” the leader added. This is the first time the almost two-year-old Gorran meets with the two parties, in power since 1991, when the semi-autonomous Kurdish region was established northern Iraq. Gorran is united with two Islamic parties under opposition. The three hold 35 seats in the 111-seat parliament, where PUK and KDP jointly hold 59 seats.

Haydari, Melkert discuss local elections in Kurdistan

Baghdad: Chairman of Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission Faraj al-Haydari discussed with Ad Melkert, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), on Saturday the elections for the provincial councils in Iraqi Kurdistan region, according to an IHEC statement. “Haydari and Melkert exchanged views on recent developments regarding elections and referendums for the coming stage as well as preparations for the Iraqi Kurdistan provincial elections,” read the statement as received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency. The IHEC offices are working in the different provinces on setting the stage for operational, administrative, financial and media plans within preparations for the forthcoming voting events.

Date for Kurdistan journalists’ conference still indecisive

Erbil: Almost one month past postponing Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate’s conference, still the syndicate is indecisive over setting a date for the event. Anwar Hussein, a syndicate member, told AK news Friday the conference may be held in April or in May. “If the situation is clam as it is now and if Sulaimaniya protests are settled”, the event will be held in April in Erbil, the Kurdistan Region Capital. Syndicate’s third conference, on Feb.22-25 was put off due to the recent anti-government public protests in Sulaimaniyah which caused civilian and security causalities. Currently there are no indications that the protests may end. The conference will definitely be held in May if not in April, Hussein added. He explained in case of any tensions the political parties’ media personnel cannot attend the conference because they should cover the news. Therefore, the conference is bound to the security situation in Kurdistan.

Kurdistan tests 24-hour electricity provision

Erbil: Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Electricity said it is testing provision of round-the clock power to Kurdistan. The test should have been launched Sunday night, according to a statement by the ministry. It is launched first in Sulaimaniyah province, the focal point of the recent anti-government protests in Kurdistan. For 48-hours without any interruption the power will be provided to the residents in this phase. One other purpose behind the test-phase is to assess the real load and demand for electricity in the three provinces of Kurdistan, northern Iraq. Erbil and Duhok’s 48-hour test-phase will begin March 30 and April 3, respectively. In the meantime the local generators to any neighborhood will only operate if the national grid feeders encounter technical issues. Kurdistan suffers from power deficiency. To bridge the gap, it has resorted to the neighboring countries and Iraq. The local generators also provide while the national power is off. Nevertheless, the residents have never been provided with regular electricity.

Erbil airport to be opened officially Tuesday

Erbil: An informed source from Erbil International Airport said the airport will be officially opened Tuesday. Massoud Barzani Kurdistan Region’s President as well as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the inauguration ceremony, the source said. Erdogan is expected to visit Iraq next week. He is also expected to meet Kurdish officials in Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous region, northern Iraq. The airport opened mid 2005. But in 2010 it was renovated to accommodate new technologies. Its runway is the longest in the Middle East and the fifth on the world level, after China, Russia, South Africa and the U.S. respectively. The airport, designed by a British company and constructed by a Turkish company over 27,000 square meters, can operate 150 flights per day.

Kurdistan Alliance denies responsibility for Iraq security ministries delay

Baghdad: Kurdistan Alliance is not responsible for the delay of security ministers, spokesman MP Mouayad Tayeb said blaming the delay on rows among the national alliance and Iraqiya bloc, a source told Alsumaria.  Kurdistan Alliance did not officially demand a security ministry while a number of Kurdish MPs called for one of the security ministries, Tayeb said. The statements of State of Law candidate for the position of National Security Minister, Riyad Gharib, are irresponsible, he added.

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