Keynote address by Dr Ashti Hawrami, KRG Minister of Natural Resources, to the CWC Iraq Petroleum Conference in London:
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a pleasure to be invited once again to the Iraq Petroleum conference in London. Thank you to the organizers CWC. We look forward to seeing you in Erbil at the Kurdistan-Iraq conference in December.
Ladies and gentlemen, since protests erupted across the Middle East in 2011, international attention has shifted from one scene of unrest to another.
Naturally, the impact of these turbulent developments has been felt in Iraq, which unfortunately has further added to our post-war insecurity as we continue to witness political instability and daily acts of violence.
This is why it is essential more than ever that Iraq’s current politicians continue to engage in constructive dialogue and to seek consensus as to the best ways to share the country’s power and wealth, demanded by the basic law of the land, namely the federal Constitution.
Iraq’s citizens have learned the tragic lessons about what happens when control of a country’s wealth and power rest in the hands of a few.
Given Iraq’s diverse religious and ethnic composition, we know that all attempts at enforcing majoritarian rule in such a diverse society often leads to bloodshed and always are doomed to failure.
The KRG remains committed to working with all other political blocs in Iraq to solve some of the more intractable problems, through dialogue, negotiation, and respect for the rule of law, namely the Constitution.
In this respect, the recent initiative of KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani to visit Baghdad, and the return visit of the federal Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to Erbil, reflect the seriousness with which Iraqis are trying to solve their own problems.