Wednesday, 11 November 2015 03:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (dfr.gov.krd) – Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir today received Baroness Anelay of St Johns, Minister of State at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Baroness Anelay announced, “I came here to launch international protocol on dealing with rape and sexual violence in conflict, our aim is to help KRG in the process of providing guidelines on the investigation of sex crimes and the collection of evidence on the crimes committed against Yezidi women for future prosecutions.”

“I would like to congratulate the Kurdistan Region on the way it has welcomed such a large number of Syrian refugees and Iraqi displaced people. The Kurdistan Region has been a great example to the rest of the world and we are grateful for that,” Baroness Anelay added.

Minister Bakir stressed that international community has a duty to step forward and provide the necessary medical and psychological treatment for the Yezidi women who have been victims of ISIS’s sexual violence.

The KRG Minister encouraged Baroness Anelay to assist KRG to increase awareness about the crimes committed against Yezidi women by the ISIS terrorists through organizing conferences.

Both sides agreed to work together to find ways to bring perpetrators of sexual violence against Yezidi women to justice and to ensure that there will be no impunity for them. They expressed delight at the level of bilateral relations between Kurdistan and the UK and reiterated the commitment of their governments to continue working together.

Ms. Evar Ibrahim, member of the Kurdistan Parliament and chair of the parliamentary committee on women, briefed the delegation on the activities of the parliamentary committee in documenting crimes committed against Yezidi women by the ISIS terrorists as well as supporting the rescued Yezidi women.

The Meeting was also attended by the UK Consul General to Erbil, Angus McKee, KRG Representative to UK, Karwan Jamal, and Assistant Head of DFR, Siham mamand. 

Thursday, 01 October 2015 03:30

New York, USA (dfr.gov.krd) - In New York this week, Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, discussed Kurdistan Region's urgent need for basic humanitarian needs at a meeting with Manuel Sager, State Secretary and Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Minister Bakir gave a detailed account of the current situation in the Kurdistan Region, focusing on the latest humanitarian, economic, political developments and the ongoing fight against the terrorists of ISIS.

The Head of Foreign Relations highlighted the financial hardships that the KRG is facing due to the drop in oil prices, the impact of  1.8 million Iraqi displaced people and Syrian refugees on the Region’s stretched resources.

Minister Bakir called for continued international support for  Kurdistan in humanitarian, political and military spheres and shed light on the KRG’s efforts to gather international support to recognize the genocide that the Yezidis suffered at the hands of ISIS.

Mr Sager said that the Kurdistan Region has friends in the international community and appreciated the KRG’s open-door policy for the displaced and refugees.

He reiterated Switzerland’s support for Kurdistan on the humanitarian field, especially through UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Minister Bakir and Secretary Sager agreed on continued communication and cooperation between both sides.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 26 September 2015 03:30

The Hague, The Netherlands (dfr.gov.krd) Today Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa, together with two Yezidi NGOs, submitted a comprehensive report to the office of the ICC chief prosecutor in the Hague regarding the ISIS genocide against the Yezidis. This comes as a follow-up to previous efforts, and this detailed report provides further information.

The delegation delivered the detailed report to the chief prosecutor's office for analysis, with the hope that the ICC will open a preliminary investigation into these crimes on the basis of this supplemental report.

Despite the fact that Iraq is not an ICC member state, the court does have jurisdiction over the activities of ICC member state nationals wherever they may commit crimes. It is hoped that this report (the redacted version is linked below) will prompt the ICC to commence its preliminary investigation by demonstrating that the international court has jurisdiction, due to the large number and heinous nature of the crimes perpetrated by ISIS foreign fighters who are nationals of ICC member states.

Minister Mustafa said, "The KRG fully supports the prospect of an ICC investigation, and we know that Yezidis rightly demand justice. The peaceful Yezidi community was deliberately and brutally targeted by ISIS, and the international community has a responsibility to ensure that this genocide is recognized. Now that the evidence is there, it is the time for international legal bodies to play their roles and conduct appropriate investigations." He added, "As a matter of principle, the KRG seeks justice and recognition so that these crimes are properly documented, victims are compensated, and genocide is not repeated.”

Meeting Dutch Foreign Minister

As part of his visit to the Netherlands, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr Bert Koenders in the Hague to discuss bilateral ties as well as recent military and humanitarian developments.

Minister Mustafa gave an overview of the role of the Kurdistan Region in fighting the ISIS terrorists and the situation and the needs of the Syrian refugees and Iraqi displaced people in the Kurdistan Region.

Reiterating KRG’s commitment to continue the fight against terrorists and to carry on its open door policy towards refugees and displaced people, the KRG Minister called for continued international support.

He stated that the scale and magnitude of the challenges are beyond the capabilities of the KRG; the challenges have placed an incredible burden on the government and the people of the Kurdistan Region. The Minister thanked the Dutch government for providing humanitarian and military support to Kurdistan Region and stressed the need to receive further and continued support from the international community.

Minister Koenders highly spoke of the role of Kurdistan Region in the fight against ISIS terrorists and in caring for Syrian refugees and Iraqi displaced people. The Dutch Minister reiterated the commitment of his government to continue supporting Kurdistan at both humanitarian and military levels.

Both Ministers discussed bilateral ties and areas of potential cooperation in order to increase economic and investment cooperation.

Minister Mustafa also briefed Minister Koenders on the KRG’s efforts to gain international recognition for the crimes committed by the ISIS terrorists against the Yezidi Kurds and other components in the Kurdistan Region and called for moral, legal and political support of the Dutch government. Minister Koenders expressed the readiness of his government to support such efforts and said that the perpetrators of such crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Thursday, 03 September 2015 04:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (dfr.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Regional Government Department of Foreign Relations today hosted a special session for the officials of the Kurdistan’s Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) to brief diplomats and foreign representatives in Erbil on the mission of the Commission.

Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the KRG Foreign Relations, opened the session welcoming diplomats and officials of IHERC. Minister Mustafa called upon foreign representatives in the Kurdistan Region to support and assist the IHERC of the Kurdistan Region.

“We need the support of our friends in the international community to strengthen this commission as it will be the guarantor of free and fair election in the Region,” the Minister added.

On behalf of the diplomatic corps, the Consul General of Palestine, Nazmi Hazouri, who serves as the dean of the diplomats, thanked the DFR for organizing the session and congratulated the formation of the commission.  Ambassador Hazouri stated that the establishment of the commission is a step forward in the democratic process of the Kurdistan Region.

Hendren Mohammed Salih, Head of the IHERC of Kurdistan Region, outlined the reasons for the creation of the commission and stressed the importance of the commission as a tool to further promote free and fair elections in the region. 

“When we talk about democracy we talk about free and fair elections, in order to conduct free and fair elections there has to be a professional and capable body to administer elections,” the Head of the Commission added.

Deputy Head of the Commission gave an overview of the structure, formation and responsibilities of the commission. He assured the diplomats that the formation of the IHERC of the Kurdistan Region is in line with the Federal Constitution of Iraq as the constitution grants the regions the right to form independent commissions.

Head of the Commission called upon diplomats based in Erbil to support the commission through organizing advanced training courses for the members of the board of commissioners, providing technical and logistical support, encouraging election commissions of their respective countries to come forward and support the commission, and to invite members of the board of commissioners of Kurdistan’s IHERC to observe elections in their respective countries and vice versa.

Diplomats attending the meeting commended the formation of the commission and expressed their readiness to explore means of supporting the commission.

The meeting was attended  by representatives of Palestine, Republic of France, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Turkey, People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom, Republic of Italy, Republic of South Korea, Federal Republic of Germany,  Republic of Romania,  Islamic Republic of Iran,  Russian Federation,  Republic of Hungary,  Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,  State of Kuwait,  Kingdom of Netherlands,  Arab Republic of Egypt, United States of America,  Czech Republic,  Canada,  Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Sudan, EU Delegation Liaison Office  and UNAMI.

Monday, 24 August 2015 09:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (dfr.gov.krd) – Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of KRG Foreign Relations today discussed bilateral ties and recent developments with the Norwegian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense.

Minister Mustafa thanked both Ministers for visiting the Kurdistan Region and expressed the gratitude of the people of Kurdistan Region for Norway’s continued humanitarian and military support.

“We view Norway as a partner and we want to establish a long term partnership with the Government of Norway. The KRG desires to broaden ties with the Government of Norway in the fields of economy, culture, energy, education and capacity building,” Minister Mustafa added. 

Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, highly spoke of the role of Kurdistan Region in dealing with the humanitarian and security challenges facing Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Minister Brende said, “Fighting terrorism and caring for refugees and displaced people is a global challenge. Members of the international community have a shared responsibility to support KRG.”

The Minister announced that the government of Norway recently donated $13 million in humanitarian assistance to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and stressed that “The Kurdistan Region can count on the support of Norway”.

Both Ministers exchanged views on the preparation of the opening of the Norwegian representation office in Kurdistan. Minister Brende stated, “Norway is committed to establish a long term partnership with the Kurdistan Region.”

Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Defense of Norway, highlighted the bravery of Peshmerga forces in the fight against international terrorism and reiterated the commitment of the government of Norway to continue its military support to Peshmergas. 

Monday, 24 August 2015 04:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (dfr.gov.krd) – The Outgoing Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Iraq, Ms. Jana Hybaskova, today visited the KRG Department of Foreign Relations to bid farewell and to introduce the first Head of EU Delegation Liaison Office in Erbil, Mr. Patrick Geysen.

On behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Minister Falah Mustafa expressed his full appreciation for the role of Ambassador Hybaskova in the opening of the EU Liaison Office in Erbil.

Minister Mustafa stated, “Your active engagement during your tenure have laid the foundations for collaboration in many areas, and the KRG applauds your contribution.”

The Minister congratulated Mr. Geysen on his appointment and assured him of the support and assistance of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations to ensure the success of his mission in Kurdistan Region.

Ambassador Hybaskova thanked the KRG, in particular the Department of Foreign Relations for their assistance to the EU mission in Iraq and stressed that the opening of the EU office in Erbil provides a great opportunity to further consolidate EU-KRG cooperation and partnership in all fields. 

Thursday, 27 August 2015 04:30

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (dfr.gov.krd) - The Chief of Staff to the Kurdistan Region President, Dr Fuad Hussein, and the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, today briefed diplomats and representatives of international organizations on the latest security, humanitarian and political developments.

Minister Mustafa thanked diplomats for attending the session and for their confidence in the stability and security of the Kurdistan Region. He gave an overview of the security, humanitarian and political developments in the Kurdistan Region.

The Minister expressed appreciation of the people of Kurdistan Region to the members of the Counter-ISIS Coalition for supporting Kurdistan Region in the fight against international terrorism. He also thanked members of the international community, UN agencies and international organizations for providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees and displaced people who have fled to the safety of the Kurdistan Region. 

Dr. Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff to the President, briefed the diplomats on the political and legal challenges facing the issue of the presidency of Kurdistan Region. He announced “We are taking the legal and political challenges pertaining to the issue of presidency very seriously. The five major political parties are engaged in lengthy negotiations to reach a consensus on that matter.”

“We are a democracy in the making. Our political parties have chosen to resolve their differences through dialogue and negotiation. We consider this as a very positive development in the democratic process of the Kurdistan Region,” the Chief of Staff to the President added.

During the meeting several diplomats reiterated their support for the Kurdistan Region and praised democratic maturity of Kurdish political parties.

On behalf of the diplomatic corps, the Consul General of Palestine, who serves as the dean of the diplomats, Nazmi Hazouri, thanked the DFR for the briefing and highlighted the importance of a united and strong Kurdistan Region for the regional peace and stability.
Consul General of the Republic of France, Alain Guépratte, conveyed “The French authorities are closely monitoring developments in the Kurdistan Region. We have confidence in the Kurdistan Region and we fully support the region’s effort to overcome the current challenges. We believe that the political parties will be able to reach a consensus on the issue of the presidency of the Kurdistan Region.”

Head of the Consular office of the Republic of Italy, Carmelo Ficarra, stated, “Italy shares the same sentiment of France towards Kurdistan Region. Italy believes in the stability and security of the Kurdistan Region and it will continue to support the region in all fronts.”

Head of the UNAMI Regional Office in Erbil, Sokol Kondi, expressed the support of the United Nations to the stability of the Kurdistan Region. “Political differences need to be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. I commend the Kurdish political parties for seeking democratic tools to reach an agreement on the issue of Presidency of the Kurdistan Region, this is a positive step forward in the democratic process of this region,” he added.

Several other diplomats including representatives of UK, Iran and Kuwait exchanged thoughts on the developments in the Kurdistan Region.

The meeting was attended  by representatives of Palestine, Republic of France, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Turkey, People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom, Republic of Italy, Republic of South Korea, Federal Republic of Germany,  Republic of Romania,  Islamic Republic of Iran,  Russian Federation,  Republic of Hungary,  Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,  State of Kuwait,  Kingdom of Netherlands,  Arab Republic of Egypt,  United States of America,  Czech Republic,  Canada,  Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Sudan and UNAMI. 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 09:00

Erbil, Kurdistan Region (dfr.gov.krd) – The KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), in coordination with the KRG Department of non-Governmental Organization (DNGO) and the KRG Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC) today hosted a special session to discuss cooperation between relevant KRG authorities and the active International non-Governmental Organizations (INGO) in the Kurdistan Region.

Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the KRG Foreign Relations, thanked the representative of INGOs for attending the session and expressed the gratitude of the KRG for their presence and contribution during this challenging time.

Minister Mustafa stated that the KRG fully supports the mission of INGOs in the Kurdistan Region and that the relevant authorities of the government stand ready to provide the needed assistance in order to ensure the success of the mission of INGOs.

During the session, Head of the KRG DNGO, Mr. Akram Mohammed, gave an overview of the mission and responsibilities of the department and expressed the readiness of the DNGO to fully cooperate with the INGOs and to support their activities in the region.

Head of the JCC, Mr. Hoshang Mohammed, also briefed the representatives of INGOs on the mission of the newly established JCC and discussed ways of building a proper mechanism to build and strengthen understanding and cooperation between JCC and active INGOs in Kurdistan.

During the meeting, several representatives discussed issues and challenges facing the INGOs and exchanged views on how to further consolidate cooperation between KRG and INGOs.

The meeting was attended by representatives of 40 INGOs as well as several officials from DFR, DNGO and JCC. 

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