JICA Chief Representative updates DFR on latest activities

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.





Minister Mustafa meets with the new Ambassador of Netherlands

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.

Canada hopes to establish strong ties with Kurdistan

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.’

President Barzani Chairs Meeting of Syria’s Kurdish Parties

 Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today chaired a meeting of the Syrian Kurdish parties in an effort to help the Kurdish groups in Syria to unify their positions in the run-up to the planned Geneva II conference on Syria.

Representatives from both Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council attended today’s meeting in Salahaddin. The two parties agreed to hold a bilateral meeting on Tuesday, 17 December 2013, with the aim of unifying their position.





KRG signs agreement with Italian Society for International Organisations

Rome, Italy - ( – Minister Falah Mustafa led a senior delegation from  the Department of Foreign Relations to Itlay last week where they met Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister, visited the parliament and Minister Mustafa signed an agreement with the Italian Society for International Organisations.

The delegation consisted of the Kurdistan Regional Government's Representative to Italy Rezan Kader, the Assistant Head of the DFR Siham Jabali, advisor at the DFR Saleem Ibrahim, as well as Directors at the DFR Hoshang Mohamed, Tawfiq Rahman and Omer Rashid.

During the four-day visit, the delegation met with Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli. Minister Mustafa thanked Mr Pistelli for the Foreign Ministry’s cooperation and said, “The KRG places great importance on its relations with Italy and would also like to thank the Representative Office in Italy and the Italian Consulate in Erbil for the role they play in strengthening our mutual relations.”

Deputy Minister Pistelli welcomed the delegation and said he was pleased at the level of development in bilateral relations highlighting the increase in the number of Italian companies working in Kurdistan. Both sides discussed the latest in Kurdish, Iraqi and regional political and security developments. The delegation also met with a number of other senior officials at the Italian Foreign Ministry.

Later during the visit, Minister Mustafa and Italy's former Foreign Minister Franco Frattini signed a memorandum of understanding between the DFR and the Italian Society for International Organisations (SIOI) which Mr Frattini now heads. The MOU was finalised and signed after Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani approved on a proposal earlier this year.

During his visit to the SIOI, Minister Mustafa spoke at a seminar attended by over 150 diplomats, professors, academics, researchers and journalists. He briefed the audience on the geopolitical influence of Kurdistan, the history of the Kurdish people, the tragedies that they have overcome, the developments since the uprising of 1991 and the future of the region.

Also in the framework of the delegation’s trip to Italy, they visited the Italian Parliament where they were received by the Vice President of the Senate, Valeria Fedeli. Minister Mustafa briefed her on the forthcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2014 and spoke about how both Kurdistan and Iraq can benefit from Italy given its history and experiences in democracy. He asked Vice President Fedeli for her support in trying to bring further international recognition of the genocide committed by the former Ba’athist regime against the Kurdish people.

The delegation also visited Perugia University, where Minister Mustafa gave a lecture and met with various officials from the university as well as local government officials. 

The delegation met with various diplomats from the international community as well as members of the business community in Italy. They also paid a visit to the Holy See at the Vatican where they met with Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. Minister Mustafa outlined Kurdistan's culture of compassion and co-existence and spoke about the Christian community in the region and the Syrian crisis which had resulted in close to 250,000 refugees fleeing there. 




Japan responds to KRG’s call to help Syrian refugees

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – ( – Japan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nobuo Kishi, and Ambassador to Iraq, Masato Takaoka, visited the Kurdistan Region this week, bringing with them humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan.

Tehran-Erbil, from opportunity-losing to opportunity-making

Dr. Mohammed Seddigh Ahmad, the vice-representative Kurdistan Regional (KRG) in Iran, in a say printed in Etemad Press, mentioned different aspects of KRG and Islamic Republic of Iran relations. In his opinion both Iraqi Kurds and Iranian nations share many things. There many kurds know Iran (land of Arians) as their fatherland and grant it a grave place in their minds and hearts. Some of those commons are common archeology traditions, language, similar sociology ceremonies specially Eyde Noruz and . . . . several Kurds poets have composed many Persian poems, and had roles in opulence of the deep-rooted culture.

In Dr. Ahmad’s view, till Iraq Baath government downfall, Iran had been a shelter for fighters and nation of Iraqi Kurd. Iranians played a unique role in popularizing lots of cruelties imposed on kurd nation of Iraq like chemical bombing in Halabcheh and helping injuries and victims of this bitter tragedy and sheltering millions of refugees in the most tough situations of oppression, genocide and anti-human behaviors of Ba’th regime. Some of present outstanding politician personages lived in Iran for ages.

In Dr. Ahmad’s view, despite of lots of commons and aside from political and security aspects, Iranians have not taken reasonable advantages of economic and cultural areas in Kurdistan Region. In the field of economy the role of western countries, turkey, Arabian countries even far-east countries more highlighted.  In Dr. Ahmad’s view the reason is Iran’s having no strategic and outstanding perspective toward security attitude to the affair of Iraq Kurdistan as well as overly approving and concentrating on less important and negligible issues. Even so it can be said there are different opportunities for developing joints such as directing to better face with interior problems of Iraq and regional crises. Also Iranian economy corporates can act in different projects in this area. Another area is science to be considered. Exchanging scholars, students incorporating, founding Iranian Universities’ branches in Kurdistan region and cooperation between researching institutions of both sides can mentioned as well. In Dr. Ahmad’s view, for developing above-mentioned areas it is essential Iranian authorities’ security and economic attitudes toward Iraq Kurdistan change and a new one based on a trend of cooperation of multi-aspects is replaced.  









President Barzani Meets US Ambassador Beecroft

 Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani today met with United States Ambassador to Iraq Mr. Steven Beecroft in Salahaddin.

The President and the US Ambassador discussed the situation of Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, which now number well over 200,000. Ambassador Beecroft thanked the KRG for all that it has done to help the refugees and expressed US government’s appreciation for the strains that this has put on the resources in the Kurdistan Region. He added that he would work with others in Baghdad to encourage the Iraqi government to also contribute to this relief effort.

The two also talked about preparations for the planned Geneva II conference on Syria and the role and participation of the Syrian Kurdish parties in that conference.

The US ambassador also commended KRG's decision to undertake a thorough investigation into the murder of the Kurdish journalist Kawa Garmiyani, killed at his home earlier this month in the town of Kalar.  The President said his murder saddened him and the KRG is doing all it can to bring the perpetrators to face justice.  

President Barzani and Ambassador Beecroft also discussed recent positive signs that Baghdad and Erbil are considering to engage in talks to reach an agreement on energy.





Aseman weeklies conversation with Nazem Dabbaq , the representative of Kurdistan region Iraq in Tehran




 Nazim Dabbaq , the representative Kurdistan region of Iraq in Iran answered some questions about the situation of Syrian Kurds and their special role in current crisis of this country. In his view although some Kurdish people have migrated to Kurdistan region of Iraq due to insecurities coming into being, Syrian Kurds could immune northern areas against government opponents such as salafi jihad and al-Qaeda; therefore, their role in Syria crisis is considered important. He, about Kurds demands in Geneva conference, said they would not take any position against opponents or central government and would stand on their previous position. Turning down the views that Kurds of Syria are supported and encouraged by some external powers stated it is clear nowadays countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and turkey are supporting al-Qaeda and salafi forces, even so some try to prevent Kurds to get their right.

In response to a question, he mentioned as though Kurds of Syria wanted to experience Kurdistan of Iraq in areas under their control again. As an autonomous government, along with parliament and elections, has been incorporated in Kurdistan region of Iraq to control the region they wish to experience this as well. Dabbaq even rejected opinion that Syrian Kurds is the element of balance between government and Turkish Kurds. Dabbaq, about the position of government region of Iraq about Syria crisis said his government has not supported none of sides and want to fulfill the right of all tribes, religion and minorities and want to stop killing in this country as well. However would like to intercede. Dabbaq himself believed that both sides can solve the problem without foreign interfere. He wishes Syria unity maintenance. He says if a power is intended to be transitioned it has to be in the frame of the constitution.








Nazem Dabbagh: business relations between Iran and Kurdistan Regional Government has clear horizon forward





Nazem Dabbagh, the representative of Kurdistan Region Government in Iran, told that: new agreement subscribed between I.R.Iran and Kurdistan Regional Government remove some parts of boundary difficulties for progress and development of business affair between two sides and takes the ground for receiving new goals.

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