President Barzani Holds Talks with Kurdistan Parties to Push Government Formation Forward

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – As part of his efforts to help expedite the process of KRG government formation, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today met with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Deputy Leader Nechirvan Barzani and members of the KDP’s political bureau.

In today’s meeting, all sides emphasized that the new government should be formed as soon as possible.

The President also met with senior members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) on Saturday and with leaders of Gorran Movement last week.





Minister Mustafa thanks UK All-Party Parliamentary Group

 Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq ( – Minister Falah Mustafa, the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, today thanked members of Britain's All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan Region for their efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries and their work on raising awareness of the Kurdish genocide.

Minister Mustafa and the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali today welcomed the delegation, which is led by the UK's former minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt MP, and is in Kurdistan for a four-day visit. Among the delegation are Lord Glasman, Emma Grubb, and Gary Kent. Their visit to Kurdistan includes meetings with senior government and non-government officials to discuss the latest political and security developments in Kurdistan and Iraq, as well as challenges to the region.

Minister Mustafa said, ‘We have always welcomed APPG visits to Kurdistan and you have done a great job in raising awareness of Kurdistan and you have played an important role in the recognition of the Kurdish genocide before the British Parliament. Your friendship is highly valued by the people and leadership of Kurdistan.’

Commenting on his visit to Kurdistan, Mr Burt said, ’It has been a huge pleasure to return [to Kurdistan], not as a Minister being requested to come, but as a friend. We remain committed to further strengthening commercial, political and cultural ties with the Kurdistan Region.’

The British delegation was pleased to be back in Kurdistan for an update on the developments of the region. They expressed particular concern over how the conflict in Syria is affecting the broader region as well as the political situation in the Kurdistan Region.

Minister Mustafa briefed the delegation on the ongoing efforts to form a coalition government in Erbil that is likely to be a grand alliance of several parties, the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis, the security issues in Anbar province that have resulted in a number of refugees arriving in Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Regional Government's relations with Turkey and Baghdad, and the hydrocarbons law.

Both sides discussed areas of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation while expressing their desire to further strengthen and consolidate relations between the people and governments of both countries.








DFR signs MoU with Invest In Group for ‘Kurdistan Review 2014’




Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Today, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) and Invest in Group (IIG) to produce the ‘Kurdistan Review’ for 2014.

The MoU was signed by Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa and the Managing Director of IIG’s ‘Kurdistan Review’, Can Yirik. This is the second MOU to be signed by both sides and follows from the success of last year’s MOU which has led to the successful publication of Kurdistan Review 2013.

The MoU signing ceremony was attended by senior officials from the KRG Department of Foreign Relations including Deputy Head of the DFR, Karwan Jamal, Deputy Head for International Organizations, Dindar Zebari and the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali.

This year, a designated DFR team under the supervision of Minister Mustafa will be working closely with Invest in Group to ensure a second year of success for the publication.

The ‘Kurdistan Review’ is a comprehensive and leading review in Kurdistan that is published three times quarterly and one time annually and includes various content focusing on different aspects of the region. The reports highlight the many developments and opportunities in the public and private sectors.

In his opening remarks, Minister Mustafa said “we at the DFR are happyat the level of cooperation with Invest in Group and look forward to continue this partnership in 2014.” Minister Mustafa talked about the challenges of topping last year’s successful achievement and ensuring that ‘Kurdistan Review 2014’ will have fresh content and a new message for the international community.

On behalf of IIG, Can Yirik said: “We are honored to renew our partnership agreement with the DFR. Today’s emerging Kurdistan offers large opportunities to the global business community. Our aim is to introduce the people, ideas, trends, and most importantly the opportunities that are transforming Kurdistan into a key business and investment hub for its region and beyond.”








New UNHCR Coordinator for Kurdistan visits DFR




Erbil, Kurdistan ( – The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, and the Assistant Head of the DFR, Ms Siham Jabali, welcomed the new UNHCR Coordinator for Kurdistan, Mr Emmanuel Gignac, who arrived in the region last month to begin his mission.

Minister Mustafa welcomed Mr Gignac and congratulated him on his new post, emphasizing the KRG commitment towards strengthening relations with the UNCHR in order to help better assist the refugees from Syria in addition to the internally displaced persons who have arrived in Kurdistan fleeing from the violence in Anbar. He added, “I welcome you to the region and the DFR is ready to help and assist you in any way possible to succeed in your mission.”

The UNHCR Coordinator briefed Minister Mustafa on his activities since arriving in Kurdistan which included visits to three governorates as well as the majority of the refugee camps in the region. He said, ‘There are a lot of challenges here but we appreciate the support that we get from the KRG which has been remarkable. There is a genuine commitment by the authorities here to help the Syrian refugees.’

Minister Mustafa praised the role that the UNHCR is playing and said that the KRG remembers the role they have played in the region from 1991 when their presence acted as a crucial deterrent to attacks from Saddam’s regime. He added, ‘We in the KRG have always looked at the UN as an important partner. We should look at areas where the UNHCR and other sister agencies can help.’

Both sides discussed the challenges and needs of the Syrian refugees living in Kurdistan and discussed various initiatives and ways in which the KRG and UNHCR can work better together. In addition they discussed ways of sending humanitarian assistance into Syria too via Kurdistan as was done towards the end of last year.








DFR welcomes Latvian delegation to Kurdistan

 Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - ( – The Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, welcomed a Latvian delegation headed by a senior official from the their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rudolfs Bremanis, to the Kurdistan Region. The delegation is visiting Kurdistan to view potential investment and business opportunities and to pave the way for strengthening relations.

Mr. Bremanis is the Head of the Foreign Economic Relations Promotion Division at the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Head of the DFR, Karwan Jamal, the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali along with other senior DFR officials. The Latvian delegation represented various business interests hoping to gain a foothold in the region.

Minister Mustafa welcomed the delegation to Kurdistan and stressed the importance for foreign investment in order to properly rebuild Kurdistan. He emphasized the importance of quality over quantity and highlighted some of the reasons which have helped result in Kurdistan’s success. They include the openness of the KRG towards the international community, a friendly investment law, a secure and stable environment and the support of the government towards the private sector.

Mr. Bremanis was pleased to be visiting Kurdistan and pointed to the diverse group of people in the delegation as a sign of the level of interest Latvia has in the region. He discussed Latvia’s road from independence over two decades ago to where it is now. He hoped that this visit would play a role in strengthening relations between both sides.








Kurdistan Region President Meets Gorran Movement Leader

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met leader of Gorran Movement Nosherwan Mustafa on Thursday, a statement by Chief of Staff of Kurdistan Region Presidency Fuad Hussein said.

President Barzani Meets Canada Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

 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.





Canadian Minister visits Kurdistan to open their Trade Representation Office

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.








President Barzani Receives Letter from Abdula Ocalan

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( - Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today welcomed Turkish Kurdish members of parliament Layla Zana and Siri Suraya Onder in his office in Salahaddin.

The two members of parliament delivered a letter from Abdula Ocalan to President Barzani. In his letter, Mr. Ocalan expresses his support for the peace process in Turkey and asks for the cooperation of all sides for this process to succeed. He also underlines the importance of coordination among all Kurdish sides.

 Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014




Ambassadors of Bangladesh, Thailand and Hungary see developments in Kurdistan

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – In keeping with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s policy of strengthening relations with members of the international community, the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa along with the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali, received the Ambassadors of Bangladesh, Thailand and Hungary during their recent visits to Kurdistan.

The Ambassador of Bangladesh to Iraq, Mr Rezanur Rahman Khan, was visiting the region officially for the first time since his appointment in Baghdad and praised the developments he had witnessed in Kurdistan. He said, ‘This my first time here and it will not be my last time. I look forward to continue our relationship and extend it further.’

Minister Mustafa conveyed to the Ambassador the KRG’s hope to build relations with countries from the international community including Bangladesh. The meeting focused on potential fields of mutual cooperation in the fields of labour and agriculture particularly given the demand for expertise and experience for both here in Kurdistan.

In his meeting with the Ambassador of Thailand, Piriya Khempon, Minister Mustafa reiterated the importance KRG places on extending its relations with the international community and spoke about his hopes that Thailand would open a representative office in Kurdistan in the near future to help ensure the strengthening of bilateral relations.

Both sides discussed areas of mutual interest, focusing on tourism, culture, business and agriculture, with Ambassador Khempon briefing Minister Mustafa on the delegation’s visit to the region as well as the wide range of opportunities for mutual cooperation particularly in tourism and agriculture, which are two of the three sectors prioritized by the KRG in terms of development. The Ambassador was accompanied by a delegation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand who during their visit conducted market surveys and meetings with local companies and travel agencies.

In the third of these bilateral meetings, Minister Mustafa met with the Hungarian Ambassador, Tibor Tamari, who spoke about the latest progress in the opening of the Hungarian Consulate General in Erbil. They also discussed the importance of expanding educational and cultural cooperation and this will be made easier with the opening of the new Consulate General, a lot of progress is expected in relations between both sides.

The Bangladeshi Ambassador had met with the KRG Ministries of Interior, Agriculture and Water Resources, Labour and Social Affairs during his visit, whilst Thailand’s Ambassador met with the KRG Board of Investment and the Chambers of Commerce in Erbil and Slemani. The Hungarian Ambassador met with the KRG Ministers of Natural Resources, Trade and Industry, and Higher Education on his visit.

 Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014







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