Barzani’s visit to Europe boosts KRG’s re­la­tions with France and Italy

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Ma­soud Barzani vis­ited France and Italy last week. The Pres­i­dent first met the French Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande in Paris and then Pope Fran­cis in the Vat­i­can. The Pres­i­dent also met se­nior Ital­ian govern­ment of­fi­cials in Rome.

Pres­i­dent Barzani and his ac­com­pa­ny­ing KRG del­e­ga­tion aimed to boost KRG’s re­la­tions with France and Italy.

Meet­ing the Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter in Rome

Barzani ar­rived in Rome on Wed­nes­day to meet with the Pope and the Ital­ian govern­ment of­fi­cials.

Dur­ing his two-day visit, the Pres­i­dent held sep­a­rate meet­ings with the Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Fed­er­ica Mogherini, the Pres­i­dent of the Ital­ian Se­nate, Mr. Pi­etro Grasso, and with the Chair- man and mem­bers of the Se­nate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee.

The meet­ings fo­cused on bi­lat­eral ties, the po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in Iraq- par­tic­u­larly af­ter the re­cent par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, the Syr­ian refugees, and the sit­u­a­tion of Chris­tians in Iraq and in Kur­dis­tan in par­tic­u­lar.

The Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter Mogherini said:" She is pleased with the sta­tus of her coun­try’s eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal re­la­tions with the KRG and that her coun­try will soon up­grade its diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tion to a full con­sulate gen­eral."

On the sit­u­a­tion of the refugees in Kur­dis­tan, the For­eign Min­is­ter com­mended the KRG for tak­ing in refugees not only from Syria, but also Arabs and Chris­tians from other parts of Iraq. She ex­pressed her coun­try’s will­ing­ness to help the KRG in its ef­forts to sup­port these refugees.

The two also dis­cussed the po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in Iraq and ef­forts to form a new govern­ment af­ter the re­cent elec­tions. In this re­gards, Pres­i­dent Barzani said that the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion has formed a uni­fied ne­go­ti­a­tion team for talks with other Iraqi par­ties. He stated that the people of Kur­dis­tan can­not wait an­other ten years for their le­git­i­mate and con­sti­tu­tional de­mands to be ad­dressed. If these de­mands are not sat­is­fied, then the KRG lead­er­ship would ask the people of Kur­dis­tan through a ref­er­en­dum to de­cide on their fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with Bagh­dad.

Barzani re­ceived by Pope Fran­cis at the Vat­i­can

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Ma­soud Barzani met with Pope Fran­cis at the Vat­i­can on Fri­day.

At the out­set of the meet­ing, Pope Fran­cis said that he was aware of the sit­u­a­tion of the Kurds and of their tragedies in the past. He com­mended Pres­i­dent Barzani and the people of Kur­dis­tan for what they have achieved, par­tic­u­larly in of­fer­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion as a safe haven for Syr­ian refugees and for Chris­tians flee­ing vi­o­lence in other parts of Iraq.

The Pope also praised Pres­i­dent Barzani for KRG’s pol­icy of pro­mot­ing tol­er­ance and peace­ful co-ex­is­tence among dif­fer­ent re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties. He ex­pressed his hope that the Kur­dis­tan would con­tinue to en­joy peace and pros­per­ity.

For his part, Pres­i­dent Barzani talked about tol­er­ance in Kur­dis­tan as a long-stand­ing tra­di­tion that has pop­u­lar sup­port. He said that people of dif­fer­ent reli­gions have made sac­ri­fices to­gether in the past and now live side by side in peace and free­dom.

On the sit­u­a­tion of the refugees and the Chris­tians who have sought refuge in Kur­dis­tan, Pres­i­dent Barzani said that the KRG would con­tinue to pro­vide as­sis­tance to them as a hu­man­i­tar­ian duty.

Barzani Meets French Pres­i­dent Hol­lande in Paris

Pres­i­dent Barzani met with French Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande in Paris on Fri­day.

In their meet­ing at the Élysée Palace, Pres­i­dent Hol­lande and Pres­i­dent Barzani dis­cussed bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween France and the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, the Syr­ian cri­sis and the sit­u­a­tion of Syr­ian refugees there, the re­cent elec­tions held in Kur­dis­tan and in Iraq, and prospects for the for­ma­tion of the new Iraqi govern­ment.

Pres­i­dent Hol­lande wel­comed Pres­i­dent Barzani’s visit to Paris and re­it­er­ated his coun­try’s sup­port for the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, ex­press­ing his hope that Kur­dis­tan would con­tinue to de­velop and pros­per.

On the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Iraq, Pres­i­dent Barzani said that the re­cent elec­tion must pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for real democ­racy and fed­er­al­ism to take root in Iraq; other­wise the coun­try will face an un­cer­tain fu­ture, he added.

The two also dis­cussed eco­nomic re­la­tions and the role of French businesses in Kur­dis­tan. Pres­i­dent Hol­lande stated that French com­pa­nies and businesses must be more ac­tive in Kur­dis­tan. They also agreed to main­tain their con­sul­ta­tions on the cri­sis in Syr­ian and over the chal­lenges fac­ing the re­gion in gen­eral.

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