ERBIL — Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani during a ceremony on Monday inaugurated Zakho as an independent administration, saying that the move is expected to contribute to building a better future for Kurdistan.
Zakho, in Duhok province near the Turkish border, was the second city in Kurdistan to be inaugurated as an independent administration this month after Soran, in northeast of Erbil.
“I congratulate you on the inauguration of Zakho independent administration… I hope a new era will begin for serving you better,” the Kurdish leader said among several dozens of local officials and dignitaries.
He highlighted the role and sacrifices made by the people of the area during the decades of oppression attempts against the people of Kurdistan.
The formation of the independent administration will grant Zakho legal authority to process the administration works without having to return to the higher authorities in the governorate of Duhok. This is believed to facilitate most of the administrative works for the people while remarkably decreasing the routine and red tape.
“I’m humbled to return and inaugurate Zakho today as an independent administration. Throughout our homeland’s history, and struggle, Zakho has contributed to our collective security and economy,” the premier wrote on Twitter after the ceremony.
“Now by empowering Zakho to grow further and faster, we will see it able to build a better future for all of Kurdistan.”
He also criticized the violence imported to the area by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), saying the armed group’s presence has drastically limited the government’s capability to deliver services to the people in Zakho while putting civilian lives at risk.
“I call on all the sides to respect our land’s sovereignty, honor the hardship our people have gone through, and remember the sacrifices made my our people and martyrs,” PM Barzani said, emphasizing that undermining the security conditions in Zakho, which harms the region’s tourism capacity, “will not be tolerated”.