Bafel Jalal Talabani says they will find ‘mechanism’ to solve students’ issues

A combined picture of Bafel Jalal Talabani speaking to reporters and students talking with Talabani following a meeting

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Bafel Jalal Talabani said on Sunday they would work to find a “mechanism” to solve issues of students who protested against the suspension of their monthly stipends last week. 

Talabani held an 8-hour meeting with a group of students in Dabashan area in Sulaimani city on Sunday.

Last week, hundreds of university and institute students protested in the Kurdistan Region, calling on the government to resume payment of their monthly stipends halted since 2014.

“We listened to the students’ demands,” Talabani said following the meeting, noting that their demands are correct.

“I really expected the government to have taken care of them better. Sadly, we haven’t been able to meet their demands. We will find a mechanism to meet their demands,” he continued.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has suspended the distribution of students’ stipends since 2014, when the Region was hit by an economic crisis due to a drop in oil prices, the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) and the wave of displaced people and refugees who headed to Kurdish for shelter.

Students were paid 30,000-100,000 Iraqi dinars ($20.5-$68.5) per month.

To solve the issue, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) decided to allocate a budget for the ministry of higher education and scientific research to assist students who are in need and to solve the issues of dormitories.

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