President Barzani discusses Iraq’s political crisis with Swedish delegation
The Political Director from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Björn Lyrvall, visited the Kurdistan Region for the first time last week to meet with President Masoud Barzani and discuss bilateral relations, the political stalemate in Iraq and the
The visit is part of efforts to understand the Kurdistan Regional Government’s position on the continued political disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad.
During the meeting with President Barzani, Mr Lyrvall stressed the importance of strengthening the current political and economic relationship between Erbil and Stockholm, expressing his hope that it will expand into other sectors.
He also underlined Sweden’s and the EU’s readiness to help keep Iraq on the path to democracy and to protect human rights according to its Constitution.
President Barzani expressed his appreciation to the people and government of Sweden for providing refuge and assistance to the Kurdish people during their troubled history.
The visit also included a meeting with Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations. Minister Bakir had met with Mr Lyrvall on his visit to Sweden in January this year. They discussed ways of deepening the already strong relations between Sweden and the Kurdistan Region
On the political crisis, Minister Bakir said that the international community has a significant role to play to keep Iraq on the path to genuine democracy. He said, “We want to go past this political stalemate, we want a clear position from the other political partners. The Iraqi people deserve security, services, and jobs.”
When asked about the KRG’s relations with Turkey and the war in Syria, Minister Bakir said, “Our relationship with Turkey is in the interests of the entire country, and does not threaten the unity of Iraq.” He added, “We support the legitimate demands of the people in Syria, and we welcome a peaceful transition and a democratic alternative.”
Mr Lyrvall was accompanied by Sweden’s Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Jörgen Lindström, and the Head of Sweden’s Embassy Office in Erbil, Ms Louise Calais, throughout his visit. He also met the Minister for the Interior Karim Sinjari.
Kurdish President Massoud Barzani meets with the Political Director from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Björn Lyrvall and his accompanying delegation, Salahaddin, March 7, 2013.