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Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government

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The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, along with President Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank Group and President Ahmad Ali Al-Madani of the Islamic Development Bank

The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation and that of the international community for the generous support that the Kurdistan Regional Government has provided to more than one million displaced Iraqis, and to the several hundred thousand refugees from Syria.

The Secretary-General praised the critical contribution of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in combatting Daesh in Iraq in spite of many serious challenges. He called on the Kurdistan Regional Government to do everything possible to ensure the safety and dignity of civilians caught in conflict, and to encourage the voluntary and safe return of IDPs to their homes while preventing the rise of intercommunal tensions in liberated areas.

He underlined his grave concern over the economic and fiscal crises in the Kurdistan Region that are compounding the war against Daesh and the response to the humanitarian crisis.

The Secretary-General said he was encouraged to hear that the leadership of the Kurdistan Region is committed to implementing broad political and economic reforms, and to working with all parties to overcome the political stalemate.

Erbil, Iraq, 26 March 2016