Austria to open a visa center in Erbil

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – ( – The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, today met with Alfred Bratanek, Deputy Head of Mission in the Austrian Embassy in Amman, Jordan along with a joint delegation from the Austrian and Slovenien Foreign ministries, to discuss the opening of a new visa center in Erbil.

The Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali, and the KRG Representative to Austria, Dr. Mustafa Ramazan also attended the meeting.

The purpose of Mr. Bratanek’s visit to Kurdistan is the initiation of the first visa center of its kind – the center runs through a private company.

Minister Mustafa was briefed on the mechanism of the visa process and was assured that this step will provide yet another opportunity to further enhance and intensify the existing mutual ties between Austria and Kurdistan.

The Minister assured the visiting delegation that the KRG appreciates the efforts of the Austrian and Slovenian governments and stressed that steps such as the opening of this office would pave the way for increased relations between all sides involved.

Also discussed during the meeting was future cooperation in the fields of tourism, economy, agriculture as well as educational and cultural exchange programs between the countries and the Kurdistan Region. Minister Mustafa said, ‘We are in favor of a long term strategic relationship benefitting both sides.’

The Kurds and the KRG have a long standing relationship with the people and government of Austria. During times of suffering, the Republic of Austria opened its doors to fleeing refugees.

The opening of a visa center is part of a greater Austrian initiative to expand commercial ties between the two governments.

Minister Mustafa concluded the meeting by thanking Mr. Bratanek and his delegation and said, ‘This is good news for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole and you can count on us as a friend and a partner.’





President Barzani Meets UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today welcomed UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in the capital Erbil.

In their meeting, the President and the UN Secretary General talked about the situation of Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, the conflict in Syria and preparations for the Geneva II conference, and relations between Erbil and Baghdad.

The UN Secretary General praised the security and stability and development that the Kurdistan Region enjoys and added that the Kurdistan Region has come a long way in terms of reconstruction, provision of services and construction.

Mr. Ban Ki Moon also thanked the President and the people and government of Kurdistan for taking in the Syrian refugees and said that the UN plans to increase its humanitarian assistance to the refugees in Kurdistan.

After warmly welcoming the UN Secretary General, President Barzani said the Kurdistan Region opened its doors to Syrian refugees at the beginning of the conflict. He said providing refuge to the Syrian refugees is both a humanitarian and national obligation for our people. Due to large numbers of refugees, the Kurdistan Region is unable to adequately assist the refugees, said the President. He asked the UN and the international community to help the KRG meet its duty to help the refugees.

On the planned Geneva II conference, President Barzani expressed his hope that it leads to a positive outcome, where the refugees could return to their homes and there would be an end to the suffering of the Syrian people.

On relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the President reiterated that Iraq is government by a constitution which defines the both the relationship between the Region and Baghdad, and the rights and responsibilities of each side. “We are committed to this constitution and commitment to this constitution is a prerequisite for Iraq to remain one country. We ask all sides to be committed to this constitution, and it is our policy to use dialogue to resolve our problems based on the constitution,” said the President.

President Barzani reaffirmed KRG’s full support and cooperation with the UN and its agencies based in Kurdistan.





Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( - The Kurdistan Regional Government welcomes the initial agreement between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5 + 1 countries, comprising the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany. The KRG views this

The ministry of Oil of I.R.Iran appreciated and acknowledged in a letter from Nazem Dabbagh, the deputy of Kurdistan region of Iraq in Iran for his sending a letter to Me. Engineer Bizhan Namdar Zangeneh, in occasion of backing vote of confidence from Islamic Consultative Parliament of Iran and his selection for the position Oil Ministry of Iran.

The representative of Kurdistan Region in Iran in an interview with Kurdpress:





Lack of Protection for Collapsing of Assad Regime was the cause of terrorist attack to Erbil

In interview with Mr. Nazem Dabbagh, the Representative of Kurdistan Region in Iran, told to Kurdpress:





Unsatisfying of Kurds for dominated ruling parties functions and opposition activities were the causes of changing in parliament arrangement in current election

Economic Requirements for Iran and Kurditan Region of Iraq






The breaking fast feast was celebrated in the deputy office of KRG with Iraqi characters, some Iranian High-rank officials and Kurdish political and cultural characters.




 Diplomacy Irani: Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian foreign Affaires minister, last morning went to Baghdad as his the first foreign travel. In this travel, Mr. Zarif visited Nory Maleki, Khozir Al-Khazai, president bail and Osamah An-Najafi the head of parliament of Iran. He got the message of Mr. Rohani the president of Iran and Eshagh Jahangiri, the first Rohani’s assistant to Nori Maleki and Maleki, also congratulated the form of new cabinet to Iranian high ranking officials. For importance of the travel and its outcomes, we interviewed Mr. Nazem Dabbagh, the representative of Kurdistan Region Government of Iraq that is followed:


What is your assessment of Zarif’s Travel to Baghdad? Why Baghdad was chosen as the first foreign travel of Mr. Zarif?


 The Reason is Iran and Iraq, by now, having consolidate and old relations. Iranian high ranking official had close relations with many officials of Iraq during resistance against Saddam regime and those relations have continued after Saddam had collapsed. During current years, especially after aggravation of Syrian Crisis two countries, because of Regional situation has closed their relation much more than before. By establishing new cabinet of Iran, with presidency of Dr. Rohani, growing relations between two sides has been expected, with regard to his policy in development of Iran relations with neighbors.


As mentioned, one of the topics discussed in this travel was the probability of US attack to Syria. What is the Iran and Iraq position about this matter?


Though Iran and Iraq want to play active role in regional issues especially Syria. Syria is one of the Iraq neighbor and Iran’s ally and so any change in this country has direct affects on Iran and Iraq. Just as Mr. Zarif noticed two countries were sacrifice of chemical weapons in the past. But attack to Syria for existence chemical weapon has direct effects on Iran and Iraq.

Whether for existing critical situation in this country or for US attack to it, this attack has negative affects on the region especially on Iran and Iraq. Therefore it is necessary the two countries hold a consultation and take common position about this event and prevent from US attack. M Zarif’s travel is too important in ground of current especial regional situation that serious events probably happen and can help to future of the region and future of the two sides’ relations.


Since long years ago, Iran has allied with Bashar Assad and at present Tehran opposes to change of government in Syria, while Iraq disputed with Syria in the past. How much common are Iraq and Iran views about Syria by now?


Maybe there are some disagreements. We could not expect that two countries have common point of view about all issues. But whatever cause two countries to close together and disagreement set aside is ongoing and future security situation of the region and change happening. Although Iran has been allied with Assad and Iraq has not been so, but with regard to their similarities nowadays, two countries are of the same opinion that necessary ground should be taken in next election in Syria for all people to join actively in election and so determine who will become the president of Syria; either Bashar remain in this position or leave the power.


On media conference, Mr. Zarife and Mr. Zibari emphasized on peaceful resolution of Syria crisis. What is the meaning of peaceful?


Just as I mentioned, both Iran and Iraq believe that just people of Syria should determine political future of this country and foreign meddling expands this crisis. Iran and Iraq are about to resolve this problem by national dialogue and with attending of all Syrian political groups. Apparently continuing crisis is not beneficial to two countries’ interests. Any kind of insecurity in our neighbor, truly, is harmful to us. Thus Iran, Iraq and many other countries are of the same mind that military conflict in Syria should be stopped and all people such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Darouzis, and Christians and … allied to repel the Al Qaeda and terrorism. If this action does not shape, we will witness expanding of terrorism and radicalism throughout the region and this will blur the future of the region.


In practice, Mr. Zarif started his regionalism policy with selection of Iraq as the first its foreign policy destination. In your view, how much shall effect of cabinet replacing in Iran on relations of Iran and Iraq?


Election in Iran that led to Mr. Rohani coming to power could be evaluated as the turning point in bilateral relations of two countries. Probably main policies will continue, but one of the differences between this cabinet and previous one is the character of Mr. Rohani and Mr Zarif that both have remarkable diplomatic abilities. With regard to these experiences and ability and also regarding Mr. Zarif’s the first diplomatic stride in Iraq, we are able to anticipate that two countries will strengthen their bilateral relations. This event can help to shape correlation among other countries of the region so that we witness the establishment of security and calmness throughout the region.


After meeting Zarif, Hossein Shahrestani, prime minister’s assistant of Iraq in Energy affaires, declared that his country prepare to help Iran in its nuclear program. What dos the help meaning?


During traveling of Mr. Zarif to Iraq, there were some dialogues about coming negotiation between Iran and 5+1 about Iranian nuclear plan. Iraq is able to be both host of nuclear negotiations and intermediary between two sides impartially. By the way, Iraq has friendly relation with Iran and is able to attract the trust of Iran. Moreover Iraq has good relations with western countries especially Europe and the US and so Baghdad can arbitrate between two sides in order to decrease tension between them. This is beneficial to two sides interests.


In media conference after meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, about current happening of Ashraf garrison that is the place of Monafeghin terrorist group, Mr. Zarif, declared that Iran take into account the duration of the presence of terrorist group in Iraq, who was allied Saddam in crushing Iraqi people, as a serious threat for bilateral relations. In your view, how much is weight of this issue in two sides’ bilateral relations?



Attack to Ashraf garrison is not such a matter to have a negative affect on Iran and Iraq relations. Since outset, the policy of Iraq unchanged about Mojahedin Khalgh institution and Iraq government and it always emphasizes on deporting this group from Iraq. This has been clear policy and Iraq do not want to reside a militant group in its territory that act against its friend and neighbor country and make insecurity. Mr. Zibari, also, noticed that Iraq government established an investigative committee to explore current happens. But undoubtedly there is no place for Monafeghin in Iraq and they should leave this country as soon as possible. Several times Iraq has wanted to international society to find another place for this institution, but it has not done as of a yet. 




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