PM Nechirvan Barzani meets senior foreign officials
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, last week, separately met with a number of high ranking foreign diplomats and officials in Erbil including Pope’s envoy, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq, the special envoy to the Middle East of the Russian President, Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov, the Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, Mr. Atis Sjanits, and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
Archbishop Giorgio Lingua said that the Vatican follows the situation in the Kurdistan Region very closely. He conveyed Vatican’s gratitude to the Kurdistan Region for sheltering and assisting the internally displaced persons and refugees, particularly the Christians, who fled the violent repression of the Islamic State terrorist organization.
Prime Minister Barzani stressed the commitment of the people and Government of Kurdistan to peaceful coexistence and their culture of tolerance. He pointed out that all the displaced people and refugees receive equal assistance, without any discrimination.
He said, “We hope that the displaced people and refugees would be able to return to their homes soon. We asked them to be patient until the end of this temporary difficult phase.”
President Putin's special envoy, on the other hands, outlined that the reason of his visit to the Kurdistan Region is to learn more about the current situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, with the hope that the visit will pave the way for further cooperation and consolidation of relations between Erbil and Moscow.
Mr. Michael Bogdanov highlighted the historic relations between the people of Kurdistan and Russia which date back to the middle of last century when the Kurdish historic leader, General Mustafa Barzani, and his comrades took refuge in the former Soviet Union.
The two sides discussed the current war against the Islamic State terrorist organization, the recent victories achieved by the Peshmarga forces and the impact of the international coalition intervention in countering terrorism.
Given the global secu- rity situation, both sides agreed that it is essential for the relevant security agencies in the Kurdistan Region and Russia to cooperate in order to better combat terrorism.
While the delegation reiterated Russia’s support to the Kurdistan Region, Prime Minister Barzani expressed his government's gratitude for the humanitarian assistance that Russia has provided to the displaced persons and refugees.
The two sides also discussed the activities of the Russian companies operating in the Kurdistan Region particularly in the fields of energy and natural resources. Prime Minister Barzani stressed that the Kurdistan Region views its relations with Russia as very important, noting that there are a great deal of opportunity for Russian companies to work across many sectors, and that the Kurdistan Region can benefit from Russia’s expertise in many fields.
In his meeting with Ambassador Sjantis, PM Barzani welcomed Ambassador Sjantis and congratulated his government for becoming the head of the European Union for the current round.
Both sides discussed the Peshmarga Forces war against terrorists and the current security situations in the country. The Kurdish PM reiterated that the KRG needs military support and heavy weapons to fight ISIS and also needs more humanitarian aid from the European countries for the refugees and IDPs in the Region.
The Latvian and Kurdish officials also discussed economic and business ties between the two countries and the mechanism of boosting business relations and activities through more cooperation among the chambers of commerce and industry of both sides.
The Mayor of London Mr. Boris Johnson, who met Prime Minister Barzani along with an accompanying delegation on Friday, January 23, 2015, expressed his pleasure for visiting the Kurdistan Region and witness personally the developments that have been achieved, and observe the progress made by the Kurdistan Peshmarga forces in their fight against the Islamic State terrorist organization. He considered that the terrorist organization’s threat goes beyond the Kurdistan borders.
He stressed London and Britain's desire to build strong relations with the Kurdistan Region, which would encourage cooperation in the public sector and investment by British private companies in various economic sectors in the Kurdistan Region.
Prime Minister Barzani expressed his gratitude to the Mayor of London for his and his delegation's visit, which he described as a move that would help to observe closely the situation in the Kurdistan Region.
He also expressed his government's gratitude for the humanitarian and military aid that the British government has provided to the Region, recalling that the government and the people of Great Britain have helped the Kurdistan Region in the nineties of the last century too.
While Prime Minister Barzani reiterated the desire of the Kurdistan Regional Government to develop relations with Britain and benefit from its expertise, he expressed his hope that the UK will provide further military aid and heavy weapon to the Peshmarga forces in their fight against terrorism.
The Mayor of London informed the Prime Minister about his meeting with British military personnel, who are training the Kurdish Peshmarga forces, which he described as satisfactory.
Commenting on Kurdistan Region's economic development, Mr. Boris Johnson, quoted by London City Hall website, said, “Over the last decade Kurdistan Region has seen considerable economic growth and social development, and I’m here to mark London’s role as an active ally in this ... The links between Britain and the Kurdistan Region are developing at an incredible pace, there is a dynamic and forward looking leadership here.” He considered the Kurdistan Region as an "area that has become a success story for the Middle East."
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani meets Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov in Erbil on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, meets the Mayor of Londaon, Borris Jhonson, in Erbil on Thursday, January 22, 2015.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani,meets Pope’s envoy, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq, in Erbil on Sunday, January 18, 2015.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, meets the Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, Mr. Atis Sjanits, in Erbil on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.