Kurdistan Regional

Kurdistan Regional (442)

Kurdistan welcomes British business, KRG officials tell trade association members

London, UK (UK.KRG.org) - The Kurdistan Region is open for business and British companies are welcomed, Kurdish officials told members of British Expertise, a leading trade association at a seminar last week.


Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government's Department of Foreign Relations, and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG's High Representative to the UK, were joined by Alex Lambeth, Director of British Expertise, in highlighting the business opportunities and investor-friendly laws in the region.


The seminar was part of a series of meetings by Minister Mustafa who was in the UK on an official visit. The Minister was accompanied by Siham Mamand, the Assistant Head of the DFR, and High Representative  Abdul Rahman during the visit which included meetings with British officials, parliamentarians, journalists and think tanks.


Minister Mustafa told the seminar at British Expertise, 'There is huge potential in many areas of the economy and we like to do business with the British. Foreign Secretary William Hague recognised this when he made the decision to increase the number of staff at the British Consulate in Erbil a few years ago while other British diplomatic missions were facing cuts.'


The minister outlined the key areas the KRG is promoting - tourism, agriculture and manufacturing - so that the economy is not over reliant on oil.


He also updated the meeting on political developments, relations with Turkey, the Syrian refugee crisis and the forthcoming Iraqi elections.


Ms Abdul Rahman spoke about the Kurdish economy's rapid growth over the past decade, which has been achieved thanks to high levels of security, clear economic policies that focus on services such as the provision of electricity, and the development of an oil and gas sector from scratch in the past seven years. She urged Britain to make visas access easier for business visitors, to start direct flights and for British ministers to lead trade delegations to Kurdistan in the same way as other European countries do.


British Expertise members had a range of questions, including on Kurdistan's trade relations with Scotland and Northern Ireland, the KRG's procurement methods and the impact of Syrian refugees on the economy





KRG Minister calls for Kurdistan-UK partnership to grow

London, UK (UK.KRG.org) - Britain and Kurdistan Region have a partnership that should be nurtured, was the message of Kurdistan Regional Government Minister Falah Mustafa during an official visit to the UK last week.

Minister Mustafa, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, who was accompanied by Siham Mamand, Assistant Head of the DFR, and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG High Representative to the UK, met officials, members of the opposition, parliamentarians, journalists and think tanks to deliver the message.

In a meeting with Hugh Robertson, the UK's Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Mustafa said, 'We view our relationship with Britain as a partnership of choice, in education, culture, politics and economics. And we want to broaden the areas of cooperation.'

Minister Mustafa called for direct flights between the two countries and more regular visits by ministers on both sides.

During the meeting, the ministers discussed the forthcoming Iraq-wide elections which are scheduled to take place on April 30. Minister Mustafa said it was important that countries like the UK, which have a history in Iraq, continue to support timely elections and the neutrality and authority of the Independent High Electoral Commission.

They also discussed the current political crisis between Baghdad and Erbil and the rise in violence in Anbar which has led to 30,000 people fleeing from there to Kurdistan. This is in addition to the 260,000 Syrian refugees who have taken shelter in the region.

The ministers discussed the problems in Syria and the need to provide aid to people inside the country as well as refugees in neighbouring countries.

The two ministers later made keynote speeches at a ceremony organised by the KRG UK Representation and the Kurdish community to honour those who were killed in the Anfal genocide campaign.

Anfal was an eight-stage killing operation organised by Saddam Hussein's regime that  killed 182,000 people in 1988. This was the peak of a decades-long genocide against the Kurds who are now calling for Britain and other countries to recognise it.

Minister Robertson said at the ceremony, 'There is no doubt that Iraq’s Kurds suffered a terrible injustice under Saddam Hussein. It is important that we reflect on the suffering caused, extend our sympathy to all those affected and reaffirm our belief that no group should be allowed to suffer that fate again.'

This was the first time that a British minister had attended such a ceremony and its significance was acknowledged by Minister Mustafa who said, 'It is a compassionate gesture and one that carries huge significance for the people of Kurdistan as we continue in our struggle for recognition of the Kurdish genocide and the 182,000 lives lost to it.'

At the ceremony, High Representative Abdul Rahman, said, ‘The world must learn the lesson of the Kurdish genocide which is that dictators have to be stopped. Failing to tackle dictators only emboldens their greed and violence.'








Kurdistan Region President Meets Ayad Allawi

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with Ayad Allawi on Tuesday in his office in Salahaddin. The two discussed the political and security developments in the country, including the situation in the Anbar province.

They also discussed disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, and the upcoming parliamentary elections due later this month. Both underlined that the political process in Iraq has grinded to a halt and that there is a need for an comprehensive overhaul of the process.





President Barzani Meets US Ambassador Beecroft in Salahaddin

Salahaddin, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRP.org) – President Masoud Barzani met with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Mr. Steven Beecroft today for discussions on the current political and security situation in Iraq.

The US Ambassador expressed his concern about the deteriorating security in the country, especially in the Anbar province.

In their meeting, the two discussed the upcoming parliamentary elections, due on April 30th, and its potential implications on the political process in the country. Both expressed their hope that the election results will lead to a diffusion of the challenges and many crises facing the country.





Polish Consul meets with the Head of the DFR

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – (DFR.krg.org) – The Polish Consul, Roman Jerzy Chalaczkiewicz, visited the KRG Department of Foreign Relations where he met with Minister Falah Mustafa as his tenure in Kurdistan comes to an end.

The Polish Consul General expressed his pleasure at having been the first Polish diplomat stationed in Kurdistan following the opening of their Embassy Consular Office in Kurdistan and said that this was an important step in building bilateral relations. He highlighted that the Polish Government was keen to further develop political, economic and cultural ties with Kurdistan.  

Minister Mustafa welcomed Mr. Chalaczkiewicz to the DFR and said that he is very optimistic about the future of relations since there are many areas of mutual cooperation. He added that Kurdistan can learn a lot from the experiences of Poland, particularly given their similar transition to a democracy after their revolution of 1989.

Both sides agreed that the high number of exchange visits particularly between officials from different regions within Poland to and from Kurdistan was helping strengthen bilateral ties greatly. These visits indicate Poland’s seriousness in building stronger ties with Kurdistan.

In addition to Poland having a Embassy Consular Office in Kurdistan, the KRG also have a Representative Office in Poland headed by Mr. Ziyad Raoof. 





Swedish Ambassador visits DFR to boost mutual relations

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - (DFR.krg.org) – The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR), Minister Falah Mustafa and the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali met with the Swedish Ambassador to Iraq, Jörgen Lindström and the Head of the Sweden Section Office in Erbil, Jessica Svärdström today. They discussed different ways in which bilateral relations can be strengthened between Sweden and Kurdistan. In addition, they exchanged views on the latest political, economic and security developments in Kurdistan and Iraq.

Ambassador Lindström expressed his pleasure at Sweden’s role in helping further develop the health sector in Kurdistan through Swedish companies working in the region.

Both sides expressed their willingness to strengthen their business relations as more Swedish companies wish to invest in Kurdistan

Sweden has a large Kurdish community, and through the KRG Representation in Sweden and the Swedish office here, both sides are hopeful that bilateral relations will strengthen in the areas of education, health, cultural, and economic interaction.

Minister Mustafa went on to brief the Ambassador on the latest updates regarding the KRG’s government formation, and pointed out the challenges that any new democracy faces when attempting to establish a broad based government.

They also discussed the latest developments regarding the ongoing disputes between Erbil and Baghdad and the prospects for resolving the issues, in accordance with the constitution.

They also talked about the Iraqi parliamentary elections that are scheduled to take place at the end of April. Minister Mustafa said ’we need the support of the international community through international observers in order to ensure that elections are held on time and conducted in a free and fair manner.’

Finally they spoke about the ongoing crisis in Syria, its implications and the conditions of the Syrian refugees living in Kurdistan, where the Ambassador stated his country’s continued support in providing assistance to the refugees.

During his trip to Kurdistan, Ambassador Lindström also visited the governorates of Sulemani and Duhok where he held meetings with various officials.





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