Abdul Latif Rashid

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Abdul Latif Rashid
عبد اللطيف رشيد
Rashid in 2023
9th President of Iraq
Assumed office
17 October 2022
Prime MinisterMohammed Shia' Al Sudani
Preceded byBarham Salih
Minister of Water Resources
In office
September 2003 – December 2010
Prime MinisterAyad Allawi
Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Nouri al-Maliki
Preceded byCoalition Provisional Authority
Succeeded byMohanad Salman al-Sady
Personal details
Born (1944-08-10) 10 August 1944 (age 79)
Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
  • Iraq
  • United Kingdom
Political partyPUK
SpouseShanaz Ibrahim Ahmed
RelationsJalal Talabani (brother-in-law)
Ibrahim Ahmed (father-in-law)
Hero Ibrahim Ahmed (sister-in-law)
Residence(s)Radwaniyah Palace, Baghdad, Iraq
Alma mater

Abdul Latif Rashid (Arabic: عبد اللطيف رشيد; born 10 August 1944),[1] also known as Latif Rashid (Kurdish: لەتيف ڕەشید, romanized: Letîf Reşîd) is an Iraqi Kurdish politician and the ninth president of Iraq, following the 2022 Iraqi presidential election.[2] He was previously the Minister of Water Resources under the government of Nouri al-Maliki. Prior to that, he served in the same position under both the Iraqi Transitional Government and the Iraqi Interim Government. Rashid was formerly a spokesperson for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the United Kingdom.

As Minister for Water Resources from September 2003 until December 2010, Rashid was responsible for a range of issues, including irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, hydropower, flood control, and environmental requirements including marsh restoration.

Early life and education[edit]

Rashid was born in 1944 in Sulaymaniyah,[3] Kurdistan, Kingdom of Iraq, to an upper-class Kurdish family. Rashid took British A-Levels in North Wales.[4] He has a B.Sc. (1968) in Civil Engineering from Liverpool University, and an M.Sc. (1973) and Ph.D. (1978) in Engineering from Manchester University.[3] After having graduated from Liverpool University he became a lecturer at the University of Sulaymaniah in 1969.[3] Upon returning to Iraq, he became an active member of the PUK under the leadership of Jalal Talabani, his brother-in-law.

Professional career[edit]

Rashid has been involved with a number of programs and organizations related to engineering, agriculture developments. He previously worked as senior Project Manager for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. He was a member of Executive Council of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's Representative in the UK since 1986 as well as spokesman for the Kurdistan Front.

Rashid is a chartered engineer, a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineering and the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). He has been a freelance consultant for irrigation and drainage projects and worked with the Water Engineering Administration.

In 1992, Rashid was elected vice president and Executive Member of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), and in 1998 he was elected to the six-member leadership of the INC.

Political career[edit]

Apart from technical qualifications and engagements Rashid has taken an active part in both Kurdish and Iraqi politics. In 1986 he became the spokesman for the PUK in the United Kingdom.[3] He has attended many conferences and official meetings on behalf of Kurdish political parties and Iraqi opposition groups during Saddam's regime. Rashid has also represented Kurdish politics and Iraqi opposition groups to Saddam in official meetings with various international institutions and governments. In 2003 he became the minister of water resources, a post he kept until 2010.[5][6] He served as a presidential adviser from 2010.[5]

President of Iraq[edit]

In accordance with the power-sharing agreement among the major ethnic and religious groupings in the country, a Sunni Kurd is elected as president, a Shia Arab as prime minister, and a Sunni Arab as speaker of parliament. On 13 October 2022, Rashid was elected as the 9th President of Iraq, after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. Rashid replaced Barham Salih as head of state after the two-round vote in parliament, winning "more than 162 votes" against 99 for Salih.[7] Rashid "immediately" appointed politician Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani as prime minister-designate, an appointment that ended the yearlong deadlock.

Foreign policy[edit]

Rashid opposes the normalization of the diplomatic relations as long as Turkey violates Iraq's sovereignty.[8] On 8 April 2023, Rashid condemned Turkey's alleged bombardment of an area near Sulaimaniyah airport inside Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. A source from the Turkish Defense Ministry stated to Agence France Press that Turkey's armed forces "undertook no such activity."[9]

Speaking on 27 February 2023, Rashid said that the 2003 invasion of Saddam-ruled Iraq by the United States and its allies was "necessary" because of the regime's "brutality." He claimed that, "after twenty years," now "peace and security [are] all over the country," despite the fact that long-awaited public projects, especially in the transport sector, have not materialized, a short-coming he attributed to lingering corruption.[10][11] The Iraqi president expressed the belief that "improving relations with neighbors, including Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan, is a source of strength for Iraq."[10]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmed and they are the parents to three children.[3]


  1. ^ "Curriculum Vitae-Dr. Latif Rashid". atifrashid.iq.
  2. ^ "Iraqi parliament elects Abdul Latif Rashid as new president", Al Jazeera, 13 Oct 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Who is Dr. Abdul Latif Rashid". nrttv.com. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  4. ^ University of Liverpool, 'Precinct' magazine, January 2008, p. 6. www.liv.ac.uk/precinct/2008/January_Precinct.pdf[dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Iraq's new president Latif Rashid, veteran Kurdish politician". RFI. 2022-10-13. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  6. ^ "Iraq elects new president and premier, as Sadr loses contest to Maliki |". AW. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  7. ^ "Iraqi parliament elects Abdul Latif Rashid as new president". Al Jazeera. 13 October 2022. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Normalization with Türkiye not possible amid border violations, says Iraq's president". Bianet. Istanbul. 19 January 2023. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  9. ^ "Iraqi president condemns Turkish bombardment of autonomous Kurdish region". France 24. AFP. 8 April 2023. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  10. ^ a b Daniszewski, John; Sewell, Abby (27 February 2023). "Iraqi president says country now peaceful, life is returning". Associated Press. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  11. ^ Abdul-Zahra, Qassim (27 February 2023). "Iraqi president says country now peaceful, life is returning". Yahoo News. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
Preceded by Minister of Water Resources
September 2003 – December 2010
Succeeded by
Mohanad Salman Al-Sady
Preceded by President of Iraq
2022 –
Succeeded by