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 Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

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Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief  10.8.2012   

August 10, 2012 -  Sulaimaniyah, Erbil-Hewler, Duhok, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Kurdistan's general amnesty decision does not distinguish between ethnic groups, says parliamentary group

Erbil: A member of the security and defense committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives stated Thursday that the general amnesty decision issued by head of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani does not distinguish between nationalities, expressing his surprise at the sectarian and nationalist demands calling for the release of Arab prisoners in the prisons of the region before Eid al-Fitr. On Thursday Iraqiya List MP Abde Dhiab al-Ujaili called on the Kurdistan Region's President Massoud Barzani to release the detainees in prisons in the region from the provinces of Kirkuk, Diyala, Nineveh and Salahaddin before the Eid al-Fitr festival. Chuan Mohammed Taha said: "All the nationalities that coexist in Iraq are equal and sectarian and nationalist statements are rejected. "The decision that was issued by President Barzani includes prisoners, without distinction of nationality and it will be implemented on everyone without exception."...

Kurdistan appoints envoy to Poland

Erbil: President of Iraq's Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, decided on Thursday to appoint a new envoy to Poland as part of the region's efforts to foster diplomatic relations with the international community. The president decided to appoint Ziyad Raoud, as an envoy of Kurdistan to Poland, raising the number of offices representing Kurdistan region abroad to 14. "The decision came as part of region's diplomatic efforts to foster and expand relations with the international community on mutual interest basis," Falah Mustapha, head of the foreign relations department, said.

Joint Kurdish-WB projects, statement

Erbil: Kurdish region minister of planning Ali Sindi discussed with World Bank representative in Iraq Maria Helen Pringle the activities and projects of WB here. In a statement published by the ministry, both sides discussed the mechanism for implementing joint projects between the public and private sectors in the region. Both sides stressed necessity of "cooperation and coordination for more projects and better services in Kurdistan".

UNICEF discusses developing Kurdish schools on int. standards

Erbil: Kurdish region minister of education Ismat Mohammed Khalid discussed Tuesday with a UNICEF delegation the project to develop the schools here according to international standards. According to governmental statement, both sides discussed the project. Minister Khalid expressed readiness to support UNICEF projects in the educational fields in Kurdistan.

No time limit for how long Arab tourists stay, says Kurdistan Tourism Board

Erbil: The head of Kurdistan’s Tourism Board said there is no time limit for how long Arab and foreign tourists stay in the region. The announcement follows stories from Iraqi media channels that the region does not allow tourists from other parts of Iraq to stay more than two days. Tourism Board official Mawlawi Jabar said in press conference: "This news is baseless and we are convincing tourists to stay more days in the region. “Tourists are free to come to the region whenever they want and for how long they stay. They select their length of visit, not us." Jabar added: "While tourists are staying in the region, we will facilitate their visit and residency."

Two power generating stations contracts signed in Kurdistan

Erbil: Contracts signed here to build two power generation stations with South Korean companies with a cost of 700 million dollars. Kurdish region government electronic site reported the first station will be with the capacity of 300 megawatts, to be finished in 3-6 months. The second project will be to change the voltage, which is the first of its type in the Kurdish region. The costs of the two stations shall be paid by the South Korean Oil Company. By the end of these two projects, electricity supply in the region will be expanded from 22 hours to 24 daily.

Barzani: No one immune after killing women

Erbil: Kurdistan Region's Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said that violence against women is "unacceptable" at any rate and the violators will face justice disregard of their status. The PM made the remarks in a press conference in Erbil, following a meeting with the Supreme Council of Women. Barzani said "as government we condemn violence against women …violence against women and murdering them under any pretext is not acceptable. "Anyone who exercises violence against women or kills a woman will not have any immunity, disregard of his rank or status… he has to be submitted to court."  He added Wednesday he met with the representatives of the entire ministries, the Women Council and directorates for tracing violence against women and such meetings will continue on a monthly basis. The PM did not deny that violence against women has increased but added "we try to settle the issues according to a plan." Commenting on the murder of the 15-year-old Nigar Rahim from Kalar city, Barzani said a special committee will be sent to Garmiyan to investigate the

New Banknotes Expected Next Year Despite Warnings from Economists

Erbil: New Iraqi banknotes are expected to hit the market next year, but economists are warning that now is not the time to change currency due to the weakness of local production and the country’s political situation. Najiba Najib, a member of the financial committee in Iraqi Parliament, said the new currency would be in circulation next year, with three zeros omitted from the denominations. The new currency will be used alongside older banknotes for three years before the older notes are completely withdrawn. Mazhar Salih, deputy governor of the Iraqi central bank, said, "We are determined to change the Iraqi currency because the biggest banknote in Iraq is 25,000 dinars which is the equivalent of $21. This has forced Iraqi merchants to resort to U.S. dollars. Besides omitting the zeros from the currency, we will redefine the Iraqi currency and have banknotes larger than 25,000." Faysal Ali, vice president of the Kurdistan Economic Forum, does not believe the situation in Iraq is healthy enough for a change of currency. "The political situation in Iraq is very unstable and it is economically weak.”

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