Dutch Sec­re­tary Gen­eral joins of­fi­cial open­ing of em­bassy li­ai­son of­fice

The Kurdish Globe - - NATIONAL - KRG.org

Of­fi­cials from the Dutch Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and their mis­sion in Bagh­dad came to­gether in Er­bil on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 20, 2013 to of­fi­cially open their em­bassy li­ai­son of­fice.

The Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of the Dutch Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Mrs Renée Jones-Bos, was in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion dur­ing the open­ing of the Er­bil Em­bassy Li­ai­son Of­fice, which will be headed by Mr Jeroen Kelder­huis.

Speak­ing at the cer­e­mony, the Dutch Am­bas­sador to Iraq, Mr Harry Mole­naar, wel­comed government of­fi­cials and diplo­mats to the cer­e­mony, say­ing that the event marks a sig­nif­i­cant step in re­la­tions. He said, “I’m proud to host this event for two rea­sons; firstly be­cause we con­clude the first high­rank­ing of­fi­cial visit, and se­condly of course is that we are of­fi­cially launch­ing our pres­ence here in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.”

The Nether­lands is the 26th coun­try to have es­tab­lished a pres­ence in Er­bil.

Mrs Jones-Bos ac­knowl­edged the hard­ships that the Kur­dish peo­ple faced un­der the former regime - many of whom fled to the Nether­lands. She said, “We are here partly be­cause of our good re­la­tions with the peo­ple of the Re­gion and also be­cause we think we have some­thing to of­fer.”

She touched on the vis­i­ble progress be­ing achieved and the po­lit­i­cal ma­tu­rity tak­ing place, and praised Kur­dis­tan’s lead­er­ship for their vi­sion.

She also spoke of the mon­u­ment in the Nether­lands to com­mem­o­rate the his­tory and suf­fer­ing of the Kur­dish peo­ple.

Nether­lands cur­rently has a large Kur­dish pop­u­la­tion from Iraq, reach­ing about 85,000, ac­cord­ing to Mrs Jones-Bos.

The KRG Min­is­ter for the In­te­rior Karim Sin- jari spoke at the event on be­half of Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani. He said, “The open­ing of this of­fice is an­other step in broad­en­ing ties be­tween Kur­dis­tan and the Nether­lands, and is part of our outreach pol­icy to en­gage with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.” “We place much im­por- tance to our ties with the Nether­lands as it is one of the most devel­oped coun­tries in the Euro­pean Union. We hope that their com­pa­nies and in­vestors will par­tic­i­pate in the re­build­ing of our in­fra­struc­ture.”

Dur­ing her visit, Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Jones-Bos met with Prime Mi­nis- ter Barzani; the Deputy Speaker of Par­lia­ment, Mr Has­san Ra­sool; Min­is­ter Sin­jari, the Head of For­eign Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Falah Mustafa; and the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Water Re­sources, Dr Ser­wan Ba­ban.

She was ac­com­pa­nied by Am­bas­sador Mole­naar and Mr Kelder­huis through­out the visit.

Oth­ers who at­tended the open­ing, in­clud­ing the Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try, Mr Si­nan Çelebi; the Gov­er­nor of Er­bil, Mr Nawzadi Hadi, po­lit­i­cal and government of­fi­cials and diplo­mats.

Of­fi­cials from the Dutch Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and their mis­sion in Bagh­dad came to­gether in Er­bil on Wed­nes­day.

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