Kurdistan Regional

Kurdistan Regional (424)

Canadian delegation visits Kurdistan to strengthen relations

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – (DFR.krg.org) - Following the opening of Canada’s Trade Representation Office in Erbil last month, a Canadian delegation headed by Canada’s Ambassador to Iraq Bruno Saccomani visited Kurdistan to work on boosting educational and agricultural ties.

As part of their visit to the region, the delegation visited the Department of Foreign Relations where they were received by the Head of the Department, Minister Falah Mustafa and the Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali.

Ambassador Saccomani spoke about his pleasure with the speed with which relations are growing between Kurdistan and Canada. He attributed this in part due to the opening of the Trade Representation Office in Erbil and the visit by Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Consular Services, Lynne Yelich last month. A Kurdish – Canadian economic forum also took place during Minister Yelich’s visit.

Minister Mustafa welcomed the delegation and Ambassador Saccomani to the DFR and said that he was pleased with the level of commitment being shown by the Canadian government in finding ways of mutual cooperation. He said, ‘We welcome these exchanges of visits and we would benefit greatly through educational cooperation and exchange programs with Canada.’

The Canadian delegation briefed the Minister about the purposes of this visit, highlighting that they want to focus for now on educational and agricultural cooperation. They added that they hoped that they could build educational linkages, and are working on promoting Canada as a destination for students from the region, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The delegation also held meetings at the Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.





The KRG welcomes the decision by the EU to open an office in Kurdistan

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq – (DFR.krg.org) – The Ambassador of the European Union to Iraq, Ms. Jana Hybaskova, visited the Department of Relations yesterday where she met with Minister Falah Mustafa, to discuss the humanitarian situation of the refugees from Syria in the region and to announce that the EU is planning to open a European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) in Kurdistan.

This meeting comes days following the visit by the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, to Kurdistan. Both sides agreed that the Commissioner’s visit was a success and expressed their hope that the visit will help pave the way for further cooperation between Kurdistan and the European Union particularly in terms of the EU providing humanitarian assistance to the refugees and IDP’s currently in the region.

Ambassador Hybaskova spoke about the European Union’s determination in working towards the opening of a European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) in Kurdistan in the very near future. The purpose of this office would be to provide aid and assistance to the Syrian refugees and displaced people from the rest of Iraq who currently reside in Kurdistan.

For his part, the Head of the DFR welcomed the decision by the EU to open an ECHO representation in Kurdistan and expressed the readiness of the DFR to cooperate and coordinate with the office in order to ensure it succeeds in its mission.

Minister Mustafa then went on to discuss the latest political and security situation in Kurdistan and Iraq, and briefed the Ambassador on the latest developments regarding the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad. Minister Mustafa added that it was vital that the Iraqi parliamentary elections are held on schedule and hoped that the EU would contribute by sending international observers to monitor these elections.

Both sides went on to discuss the Syrian crisis and its effects on the region, particularly on a humanitarian level with over a quarter of a million refugees now living in Kurdistan. Minister Mustafa proposed that the Ambassador speak with her EU counterparts in Baghdad, so that they can schedule a visit by all the EU Ambassadors stationed in Baghdad to the Kurdistan Region, to discuss ways in which to further assist the refugees and other issues of importance. 





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

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.

UK Export Finance aims to help Kurdistan en route to development

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - (DFR.krg.org) – A delegation from the UK Export Finance Department visited the DFR to discuss opportunities for building further relations with Kurdistan in various fields of infrastructure and investment.

The UK delegation was led by Steve Dodgson, the Business Group Director of UK Export Finance and included the British Consul General, Hugh Evans and a team of UK Export Finance which included Mr. Paul Radford, Mr. Max Griffen, and Mr. Tahir Ahmed. The Assistant Head of the DFR, Siham Jabali and other senior DFR officials also attended the meeting.

Mr. Dodgson expressed UK Export Finance’s willingness to start their activities in the Kurdistan Region and stated that Kurdistan will be a new market for them. He added that this visit is a fact finding mission which should provide them with a better understanding of Kurdistan and the way it operates.

The Head of the DFR, Minister Falah Mustafa, highlighted the importance of foreign investment and in ensuring the continued development of Kurdistan. He reiterated that the United Kingdom was Kurdistan’s partner of choice and hoped that UK Export Finance Department would find suitable opportunities here in Kurdistan.

Speaking about the KRG’s shift towards seeking quality over quantity, Minister Mustafa said, ‘We want to provide our people with the best services and UK Export Finance can play a significant role in assuring that companies succeed in their mission in Kurdistan.’

Minister Mustafa highlighted that the KRG has prioritized three sectors for development which are agriculture, industry and tourism, in addition to the importance of building up the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Finally, they discussed the importance of the environment and both sides agreed that in order to create a long term and successful infrastructure, the environment needed to be preserved.

Commenting on the visit, the British Consul General said, ‘The fact that this is a senior delegation visiting from the UK Export Finance Department underscores the level of commitment from the UK towards enhancing relations with Kurdistan.’

The UK Export Finance is an export credit agency, helping exporters and investors by providing credit insurance policies, political risk insurance on overseas investments and guarantees on bank loans.

During their visit to Kurdistan, Mr. Dodgson and his accompanying delegation met with a number of KRG officials to set the groundwork for future cooperation. 





President Barzani Meets UK Foreign Office Official

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with the Director of the Middle East and North Africa at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr. Edward Oakden.

The President and the UK Foreign Office senior official discussed bilateral relations, Erbil relations with Baghdad, and the Syrian crisis.

On behalf of the UK government, Mr Oakden praised the role of President Barzani and the KRG for the support and assistance they have offered to the large number of Syrian refugees in Kurdistan. He also hailed the remarkable developments in Kurdistan, adding that the UK government is committed to continue its support of the KRG.

The two also discussed the threat of terrorism in Iraq and in the region in general. They both underlined the importance of cooperation by all sides to confront terrorism.

On the challenges facing the country, the President said that lack of adherence to the constitution is the source of the security and political problems facing Iraq. He added that the Baghdad government has abandoned the principle of power-sharing, and it does not consider the KRG as a partner. Our people have offered many sacrifices and would never accept being subordinates, the President said.





President Barzani Meets ICRC President

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (KRP.org) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer. 

Mr. Maurer expressed the gratitude of the ICRC to the KRG for their support and close cooperation with the ICRC, including ease with which ICRC staff visit KRG prisons. He added that this close partnership can become a model for his organisation’s operations in Iraq and elsewhere. 

The President reiterated full KRG commitment to cooperating with ICRC and on behalf of the people of Kurdistan thanked the ICRC for their support to the Kurdish people in the past.





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