Head of the DFR receives Deputy Head of Dutch mission in Iraq

  • Monday, 17 Mar 2014

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – (DFR.krg.org) – The Head of the Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), Minister Falah Mustafa, welcomed the Deputy Head of Mission to the Dutch Embassy in Iraq, Gerard Lucius, to discuss ways of further strengthening mutual relations as well as the latest political and security developments in Kurdistan and Iraq. The meeting was also attended by the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali.

Minister Mustafa highlighted the importance that the Kurdistan Regional Government places in reaching out to the international community and strengthening relations with countries around the world. This includes the strengthening of relations with the Netherlands, which historically opened their doors to large numbers of Kurdish people who had to flee during the times of the former Baathist regime.

Despite being satisfied with the level of relations between both sides, Minister Mustafa conveyed his hopes to the Deputy Head of Mission that the Netherlands will upgrade their diplomatic representation in Kurdistan to a Consulate General, as this well help increase economic, political and cultural cooperation. In addition he hoped that the Dutch Government would begin consular services which would include the issuance of visas.

Describing Kurdistan’s progress, Minister Mustafa added that the Kurdistan Region has a lot of opportunities for work and investment, adding that the Dutch Government can take advantage of these opportunities by promoting and encouraging Dutch companies to participate in the process of reconstruction and development in Kurdistan.

Both sides went on to discuss the latest developments regarding relations between Baghdad and Erbil, the deteriorating security situation in the Anbar province and the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections scheduled for the 30th April of next month, which Minister Mustafa said he hoped would be held on time and with no delay.

In terms of the Syrian crisis, Minister Mustafa expressed his hope that the international community and the Dutch Government would provide further assistance for the over quarter of a million refugees that have fled Syria and currently live in Kurdistan. In addition to these refugees, the Head of the DFR added that over 30,000 people have fled Anbar to Kurdistan because of the ongoing violence adding to the large numbers of internally displaced people who have sought refuge in Kurdistan from the rest of Iraq.

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