President of the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) Masoud Barzani has appointed his nephew Nechirvan Barzani as prime minister, replacing Barham Salih in the post. Salih has completed his two-year term and will stand down by the end of January. Barzani’s first task as prime minister will be to appoint a new cabinet.

This is the second time Barzani has taken the role, having previously served as the region’s prime minister in 2007-09.

“The move is part of the strategic alliance between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which are in a coalition government,” reads a statement posted on the KRG website. The Barzanis are members of the KDP.

“He [Nechirvan Barzani] will continue the policy of developing Kurdistan’s oil and gas sector, implementing strategic projects and promoting international trade and investment,” says the statement.