Pres­i­dent Barzani Hosts An­nual Diplo­matic Corps Meet­ing

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Pres­i­dent of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Ma­soud Barzani, hosted the for­eign diplo­mats and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions based in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in or­der to dis­cuss the lat­est po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ments in Kur­dis­tan as well as in Iraq as a whole.

At the out­set of the meet­ing, the Head of the KRG Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions, Falah Mustafa briefed Pres­i­dent Barzani about the pri­or­i­ties and ac­tiv­i­ties of the Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions in­clud­ing en­hanc­ing re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion with the for­eign diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tions in the re­gion. Min­is­ter Mustafa added that the KRG is con­stantly work­ing to im­prove and ex­pands its ties with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

‘The num­ber of for­eign diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tions is con­stantly grow­ing and we will soon wit­ness the open­ing of the con­sulates of China, Kuwait and Bul­garia, and with this the num­ber of for­eign diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tives will in­crease to 29. In col­lab­o­ra­tion with diplo­matic mis­sions, we have man­aged to in­crease the num­ber of com­mer­cial flights be­tween the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and the out­side world.’

Min­is­ter Mustafa went on to say, ‘I want to thank those coun­tries which have of­fered their as­sis­tance to the Syr­ian refugees in Kur­dis­tan. I also want to thank those coun­tries which have of­fered their sup­port to the KRG in its ef­forts to seek recog­ni­tion of the crimes against the Kur­dish peo­ple as geno­cide.’

In his re­marks to this an­nual gath­er­ing, Pres­i­dent Barzani wished the mem­bers of the diplo­matic corps a Happy New Year and then shed light on a num­ber of key is­sues fac­ing Iraq and the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, par­tic­u­larly the ef­forts cur­rently un­der­way to form the new KRG govern­ment, the cri­sis in the An­bar prov­ince, re­la­tions be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad, and par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Kurds at the up­com­ing Geneva II con­fer­ence on Syria.

‘We know that the govern­ment for­ma­tion process has taken longer than we ex­pected, but we wanted to form a broad-based govern­ment that in­cluded all po­lit­i­cal sides. We want to form a govern­ment that will main­tain sta­bil­ity and calm and pro­vide ser­vices to the peo­ple, a govern­ment that will lead to four years of har­mony and de­vel­op­ment,’ said Pres­i­dent Barzani.

Re­gard­ing the lat­est se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the An­bar prov­ince of Iraq, Pres­i­dent Barzani said, ‘We are con­cerned about the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Iraq and par­tic­u­larly in An­bar. This cri­sis is the re­sult of an ac­cu­mu­la­tion of prob­lems which the Iraqi govern­ment should have ad­dressed in the past. There is a dan­ger that this cri­sis may spread to other prov­inces. We be­lieve that the in­ter­ven­tion of the Army will prob­a­bly make the cri­sis more com­pli­cated.’ The Pres­i­dent added that the Iraqi govern­ment must re­spond to the le­git­i­mate de­mands of the peo­ple of An­bar and pre­vent the fight against ter­ror­ists from turn­ing into sec­tar­ian strife be­tween Shi­ites and Sun­nis.

Re­gard­ing ties be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad, the Pres­i­dent said: “There has been an ex­change of vis- its and cur­rently talks are un­der­way be­tween the two sides to reach agree­ment on the out­stand­ing is­sues, in­clud­ing on Ar­ti­cle 140, on fund­ing for the Pesh­merga forces and on oil and gas. We are ready to play a role in ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges fac­ing Iraq, but it is im­por­tant that no side is marginal­ized in the po­lit­i­cal process.” He also ex­pressed his hope that the planned Iraqi par­lia­men­tary elec­tions are held on time in April of this year.

Pres­i­dent Barzani also talked about the hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion of the Syr­ian refugees in Kur­dis­tan and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Syr­ian Kurds in the planned Geneva II con­fer­ence.

‘There are now more 250,000 Syr­ian refugees in Kur­dis­tan. In ad­di­tion to this, there has been an in­crease in the num­ber of in­ter­nal refugees from An­bar prov­ince, as well as the thou­sands of Arab and Chris­tian fam­i­lies which have sought refuge in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in the past. All this has put a lot of strain on the KRG re­sources and we ask the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to as­sist us in host­ing these large num­bers of refugees.”

On be­half of the diplo­matic corps, the Con­sul Gen­eral of the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic of Iran, Seyed Azim Hossaini, who is also the dean of the diplo­matic corps, thanked Pres­i­dent Barzani and the KRG Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions for the this op­por­tu­nity.

At the end of the meet­ing, a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion fol­lowed, and diplo­mats had the op­por­tu­nity to ask spe­cific ques­tions of the Pres­i­dent.

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