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Tuesday, 24 December 2013 10:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - ( – The Italian Consul in Erbil, Mr Carmelo Ficarra, met today with the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, to discuss a number of issues including the donations provided by the Italian government to the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan.

The meeting was also attended by the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali.

The Italian government has donated 300,000 Euros worth of humanitarian aid to the refugees. This shipment comprises of tents, blankets, heaters, utensils and generators. Mr Ficarra said, ‘This is the first installment of Italy’s assistance to the refugees and we will provide further assistance in the New Year.’

Minister Mustafa welcomed Mr Ficarra and expressed his gratitude to the Italian people and government for their generous contributions to the Syrian refugees. He expressed his hope that more countries will follow suit given the cold winter conditions and the urgent need for as much help as possible.

In addition Minister Mustafa thanked the Italian Consular Office and Italian government for the continued support they provide to the KRG Representation in Italy. The Minister also thanked them for helping organise a productive program for the DFR delegation that recently visited Italy and met with senior officials from the public and private sector.

Both sides were happy with the results of the delegation’s visit to Italy and they discussed ways and possibilities of setting up joint programs for further cooperation and exchange visits in the coming year.






Tuesday, 24 December 2013 14:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) spokesman, Safeen Dizayee, has expressed the KRG’s heartfelt congratulations to Christians around the world on the occasion of Christmas and announced that the days of 25 and 26 December 2013 will be official holidays in all government departments and institutions in the Kurdistan Region. 

At the same times the KRG spokesman announced that the days of 1 and 2 January will also be official holidays in all government departments and institutions on the occasion of the New Year.





Monday, 23 December 2013 03:30

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – On the occasion of Christmas, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani sent his best wishes to Christians in Kurdistan, in Iraq, and in the world.

In his message the President said, “Now that Iraq is going through the phase of rebuilding, one of the responsibilities is to protect co-existence among the various religious and ethnic communities in the country, and this tradition should not be compromised.”

“Unfortunately, in the past few years, Christians in Iraq have become targets of violence, but we should be proud that Kurdistan has always been a refuge and a home for all different communities and it is the responsibility of all of us to preserve this co-existence.”





Sunday, 22 December 2013 14:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, today met with the Hungarian Ambassador to Iraq, Dr Tibor Szatmari and Ms Marta Papai, Deputy Head of Department for International Development Assistance at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The meeting focused on the needs and situation of the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan as well as ways in which to further enhance mutual relations.

In the meeting which was also attended by the Assistant Head of the DFR, Ms Siham Jabal, Ambassador Szatmari said, ‘Hungary highly values its relationship with Kurdistan and we envision opening up a diplomatic representative office here in the near future.’

The main purpose of the Hungarian delegation’s visit was to provide the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan with humanitarian assistance and to show their commitment to alleviating the suffering that the Syrian people are facing due to the ongoing conflict there. Following the meeting, the Hungarian delegation visited the Darashakran refugee camp in Erbil to provide students with humanitarian assistance.

Minister Mustafa thanked the Hungarian people and government for this step and reiterated the importance of Hungary opening up a Consulate General in the region, as a means towards furthering cooperation between both sides in different sectors. He also referred to the importance of developing MOU’s between Hungarian universities, Chambers of Commerces' with their Kurdish counterparts to enhance sectoral cooperation.

The assistance that has been provided by the Hungarian government comes as a result of urgent appeals by Minister Mustafa to the Hungarian Ambassador for assistance to these refugees, and the DFR continues to appeal to the international community to do more to help the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan. 





Sunday, 22 December 2013 07:00

Today the world lost a great political leader who valued democracy and peace more than his own lost life in prison.

It is with the greatest sorrow we learned of the passing of Nelson Mandela, a man who personified the struggle for human dignity, equality and sense of justice.

Although he did not have a chance to visit Kurdistan, he felt strongly for the Kurdish cause and made it clear on several occasions that our struggle to survive and achieve justice was a universal call.

We also felt that we had many things in common with Mandela’s vision for his country. We admired his call for forgiveness, tolerance, non-violent political solutions, and truth and reconciliation.

For us, Mandela was a great reminder that years of imprisonment and suffering can be turned into tremendous strength for the greater good of the society, human dignity and a new source of inspiration.

The most important lesson I personally learned from Mandela’s life was to recognize past injustice and focus on future improvement of human conditions.

Mandela taught us that we can transform ourselves and our societies by doing what we humanly can to avoid revenge. By doing so he changed his his own country and most political leaders’ expectations. He taught the entire world that humility combined with determination can change the course of history in a constructive way.

Although we will be missing a great unifier, Mandela's words and deeds will remain with us for generations in the human struggle to provide a better prospect for humanity.

We will miss a great advocate of democracy, tolerance and non-violence.

Nechirvan Barzani,
Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government





Sunday, 22 December 2013 14:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – ( – The Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Shohei Hara, met today with the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa to discuss JICA’s new projects in the region as well as other areas of mutual interest.

The meeting was also attended by the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali and JICA Senior Program Manager, Jalal Abdullah Sendory.

JICA is a Japanese independent government agency conducting humanitarian projects in the developing world. The agency started its operation in the Kurdistan Region by opening their office in 2009. They now, have an office in Baghdad as well.

Minister Mustafa welcomed Mr. Hara to Kurdistan and thanked him for the development projects that JICA has initiated in the Kurdistan Region. Minister Mustafa said, “JICA has been a great representative of Japan and your contribution is of great sentiment to the KRG.”

Mr. Hara briefed Minister Mustafa on the agency’s recent activities in Kurdistan. Currently JICA is financing three large projects in the field of infrastructure, two in the electricity sector and one in the water sector. Further projects are planned.

The Minister informed Mr. Hara of the Kurdistan Regions open-door policy. The KRG welcomes economic, political as well as cultural ties with all countries and would like to see a relationship with Japan flourish. “Your presence in the Kurdistan Region is important as we can mutually benefit from one another.”

Due to its security and fast growing economy, Kurdistan presents Japanese companies with endless opportunities. In return, the Region would benefit from Japans experience and their know-how.





Sunday, 22 December 2013 07:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – ( – The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, today welcomed the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Jeannette Seppen where they discussed a wide range of issues related to further strengthening ties between both sides.

The Assistant Head of DFR, Siham Jabali and the Head of the Dutch Embassy Liaison Office in Erbil, Jeroen Kelderhuis also attended the meeting.

Minister Mustafa congratulated Ambassador Seppen on her new post, assuring her that the KRG will continue assisting and supporting the Dutch mission in Iraq.

Ambassador Seppen was impressed by the region's development in such a short span of time, and was also pleased to have met so many different Dutch Kurds who are now contributing to society after spending large parts of their lives in the Netherlands.

Despite the progress that Kurdistan has made, Minister Mustafa stressed that the KRG strongly believes that there is a lot more that needs to be done. He asked Ambassador Seppen for support in starting cooperation between public and private institutions, in addition to educational and cultural exchange programs and human resource development cooperation.

Advancements in the private sector such as the implementation of financial institutions were also discussed and both sides agreed on the importance of strengthening institutional and private sector ties between Kurdish and Dutch companies.

Minister Mustafa also briefed Ambassador Seppen about the latest political developments in Kurdistan including the ongoing government formation process. Minister Mustafa added that the objective is to build a broad based government that is representative and works for the stability and prosperity of the region.

Friday, 20 December 2013 07:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - ( – The Head of the KRG, Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, today welcomed the non-resident Canadian Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Saccomani, to discuss the ways in which both sides can work together more closely. This visit follows a similar visit by the Canadian Ambassador to Kurdistan this past October.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Head of the DFR, Karwan Jamal, the Senior Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Embassy, Jean-Philippe Tachdjian and a number of other Canadian Embassy and DFR officials.

Minister Falah Mustafa welcomed Ambassador Saccomani to the region and expressed his pleasure at the level of commitment that the Canadian government is showing towards Kurdistan. He expressed his pleasure with the plans that Canada has in place towards opening their Embassy Office in the region.

Ambassador Saccomani briefed Minister Mustafa on his trip, highlighting his visit to Domiz Camp to visit the Syrian refugees there and said that his team was evaluating the needs of the refugees and spoke about Canada’s continued commitment towards assisting the Syrian refugees affected by the ongoing crisis.

The Ambassador went on to brief Minister Mustafa on the latest developments regarding the groundwork for opening their Embassy Office and expressed his hopes of this paving the way for the start of good economic relations between both sides. He went on to add that a trade delegation is expected to visit from Canada in February with Minister Mustafa welcoming these steps and expressing the full support of the KRG to the Embassy’s mission in Iraq.

Minister Mustafa thanked the Ambassador for the commitment being shown by him and his government and said, “We welcome this partnership and we will support you in any way that we can. We also thank you for your concern and interest in helping Syrian refugees here whether on camp or off camp.’

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