Tuesday, 10 July 2012, 07:07 GMT
"We won't abandon human rights and democratic principles"
By The Kurdish Globe
By Aiyob Mawloodi

Masrour Barzani appointed Head of National Security Board

In a ceremony held in Erbil last Sunday, July 8th, the Kurdistan Region's National Security Board was established.

In the ceremony, attended by the Region's President and a number of top ranking KRG officials, the long awaited Kurdistan Region's National Security Board was announced.

Masrour Barzani, the head of the Kurdistan Region's Protection Agency was appointed as the Chancellor of the Board.

Dr. Khasraw Mohammed Gul was appointed his Deputy.

In his speech, President Barzani praised the National Security Board for what he described as "their genuine contribution to peace and prosperity" in Kurdistan Region, urging the security forces to do "their outmost to respect human rights" in dealing with security issues.

The newly appointed Chancellor of the Board, Masrour Barzani, who briefed the attendants about the role and activities of the region's security organizations in the past, said Kurdistan is "the safest spot in Iraq" because of the cooperation between people and the security forces.

"We have spent a lot of efforts to bring about security and stability in the region," Masrour Barzani said, "resulting in a Kurdistan that is safer than ever especially when you consider Iraq as a whole."

This has encouraged a lot of foreign investors and businessmen to come to Kurdistan, he said, to partake in the growth of the region.

No US soldier has been killed in Kurdistan since 2003 when former ruler, Saddam Hussein, was ousted from power.

"This will definitely get us closer to our aspirations. With the establishment of the Kurdistan Region's National Security Board, we are heading towards the institutionalization of all of the security and intelligence agencies in the region."

Masrour Barzani also talked about the history of the Kurdish intelligence and security institutions as part of "Kurdish struggle and resistance movement."

"We are proud of this history. I would like to send my warmest regards to all those who have once served in these intelligence institutions and are still with us and pay tribute to the memories of those who gave their lives."

The establishment of the Board was implemented after a long period of studies and involvement of several experts in the field of intelligence and security.

"This institution," Barzani said, "will have a place for any citizen of this region who wishes to serve in it. The only condition is commitment to the nation and the country."

Barzani reiterated that a key factor behind the success of those institutions in bringing about "today's security and stability" was the support from the public.

"Towards this end, we have made plans for expanding the relations with the public so that people will get closer to the institutions. We have given a lot of courses in human rights for the institutions officers and staff."

The stability and security in the region, has not only led to the development of the region and a factor behind the expansion of democracy and freedom, but also attracted a lot of other Iraqis from other parts of the country, Barzani said.

"Kurdistan has become a safe haven for all Iraqis escaping violence," Barzani told the attendants. "Moreover, our institutions are more active in the disputed areas and are doing their best to protect the security and safety of the people in those areas. We can proudly say that despite all the challenges in the area, international conflicts and the interests of the regional countries, the total number of terrorist acts in the Kurdistan Region does not reach the number of terrorist acts of one day in other parts of the country."

Barzani said that according to the regional law, the function of this Board will be to supervise and coordinate all the intelligence and security institutions in the region as well as developing a unified security policy.

He also added that this will be a direct channel between these institutions and the President of the region.

"This system has been developed on organizational principles and will be kept away from any political and party interest."

Masrour Barzani explained that the Board will have three major institutions, first Kurdistan Security Institution, which will be administratively affiliated to the Kurdistan Regional Government, second will be the Directorate General of Military Intelligence, which will be part of the Ministry of Peshmarga; and the third will be the intelligence agencies affiliated to both the government and the president.