Thursday, 13 February 2014 03:30

 Salahadin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, ( - Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani received a delegation from Canada today at his office in Salahadin. The delegation was headed by Ms. Lynne Yelich, Canada's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular. During the meeting the President welcomed the delegation and expressed hope that the relations between the Kurdistan Region and Canada will grow further.

Ms. Yelich and President Barzani discussed a number of current issues facing Iraq and the Middle East, including the ongoing influx of Syrian refugees to the Kurdistan Region.

The Canadian delegation is planning to open a trade mission in Erbil so that Canadian corporations can more easily solidify their presence in the Kurdistan Region. In addition to oil and gas, education and other areas of focus for the Canadian trade mission, the President stressed on the need for cooperation on the development of the agriculture sector in Kurdistan.





Friday, 14 February 2014 14:00

Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq ( – Canada’s Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular Services), Lynne Yelich, along with Canadian Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Saccomani, and an accompanying delegation visited the Kurdistan Region on Wednesday 12 February for a two day visit which culminated in the official opening of Canada’s Trade Representation Office in Erbil.

This was the first visit to the region by a Canadian Minister and during her visit she met with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, the KRG Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, the Head of Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, the Minister of Natural Resources, Ashti Hawrami, the KRG Minister of Planning, Ali Sindi  and the Minister of Construction and Housing who is also the Acting Chairman of Board of Investment, Kamaran Ahmed.

A trade delegation comprised of a number of Canadian companies accompanied the official delegation on their visit and participated alongside their Kurdish counterpart in the first Economic Forum between Kurdistan and Canada. At the end of the Forum, an official reception took place to officially announce the opening of the Canadian Trade Representation with both Minister Yelich and Minister Mustafa speaking about the importance of this step in terms of establishing bilateral relations which benefit both sides.

During the meeting with President Barzani, both sides discussed a number of current issues facing Iraq and the Middle East, including the current situation in Syria and the impact of the humanitarian crisis on Kurdistan given the influx of refugees. In addition to discussing oil and gas, education and other areas of cooperation, the President highlighted the importance on the need for cooperation in the agriculture sector.

The Canadian delegation also met with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, where Minister Yelich expressed her pleasure at visiting Kurdistan and said that she was impressed with the level of progress taking place. She expressed her hope that the opening of the Trade Representation would result in the expansion of bilateral relations across many sectors.

During her visit, Minister Yelich visited the Department of Foreign Relations where the Head of the DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa welcomed them and briefed them about the opportunities that exist in the region, highlighting specific areas where Canadian expertise can be utilized. He added, ‘We want to develop a relationship which focuses on the areas of need such as agriculture, tourism, industry, education and infrastructure.’

Canadian Minister Yelich said that she was pleased to visit Kurdistan and hoped to build on the work that Canada has already started here given the number of opportunities available. She added, ‘There is so much I see in common with Canada here and what you have achieved in the last ten years is impressive.’

Also during the visit, the delegation visited the Citadel and the textile museum where the Governor of Erbil, Nawzad Hadi briefed the Minister and the delegation on its history and outlined the KRG’s activities and future plans in restoring it.

Minister Mustafa spoke after the end of the visit about the importance of Minister Yelich's visit given the federal form of governance in Canada, which Iraq and Kurdistan can learn a lot from. The separation of powers from the federal government and the provinces in Canada is important to learn from in order for Iraq to truly function as a federal state in adherence to its constitution.








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