President congratulates Barzani on presidency

Published 02.06.2019 00:04

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has congratulated Nechirvan Barzani on his election as president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.

Erdoğan spoke to Barzani over the phone on Thursday, the presidential communications office confirmed.

Earlier Tuesday, the KRG parliament elected Barzani as the president. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) had nominated Barzani back in December.

He is the nephew of the previous and only other holder of the office, Masoud Barzani, who stepped down after 12 years as president in November 2017, less than a month after helming a referendum on Kurdish independence that backfired and triggered a crisis for Iraqi Kurds.

The post had remained vacant since, and the president's powers were divided between the prime minister, parliament and the judiciary in a makeshift arrangement.

Nechirvan Barzani's election as president followed a final agreement reached between the KDP and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Sunday on the formation of a new KRG government.

In October 2017, Iraqi federal forces seized Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga forces, loyal to the KRG.

Home to large Turkmens, Kurdish and Arab communities, Kirkuk is one of several parts of Iraq disputed between Baghdad and the Irbil-based KRG.

Meanwhile, Turkey condemned on Friday terrorist attacks in Iraq's Kirkuk, which killed one and injured seven others.

"We have received the news with sorrow that there were casualties and injuries due to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Kirkuk yesterday (May 30)," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

On Thursday, at least four people were killed and 15 others injured in bomb attacks in northern Iraq. Six bomb attacks occurred in various districts of Kirkuk while two others were prevented.

"We strongly condemn these heinous terrorist attacks that target the culture of peaceful coexistence among different ethnic and religious communities," the ministry said, conveying condolences to the "friendly and brotherly people of Iraq."

"We fully believe that such heinous attacks cannot undermine the will of the people of Kirkuk towards living together in peace, harmony and security and contributing to Iraq's prosperity and tranquility," it added.

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