Pres­i­dent Barzani Hosts An­nual Diplo­matic Corps Meet­ing

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Pres­i­dent of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Mas­soud Barzani, yes­ter­day hosted for­eign di­plo­mats and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions based in Er­bil to dis­cuss the de­vel­op­ments in Kur­dis­tan and the wider re­gion and to re­flect on 2015.

At the out­set of the meet­ing, the Head of the KRG Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions, Min­is­ter Falah Mustafa gave an overview of the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions and stressed that de­spite the chal­lenges fac­ing the re­gion the KRG con­tin­ues its ef­forts to ex­pand ties with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

Min­is­ter Mustafa added, “The num­ber of for­eign diplo­matic rep­re­sen­ta­tions is con­stantly grow­ing. Cur­rently there are 34 for­eign rep­re­sen­ta­tions of­fices in Kur­dis­tan and we will soon wit­ness the open­ing of new for­eign of­fices.”

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 the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, in par­tic­u­lar the mil­i­tary, hu­man­i­tar­ian and fi­nan­cial chal­lenges and ties be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad.

High­light­ing the sac­ri­fices of the Pesh­merga forces Pres­i­dent Barzani Said, “Our brave Pesh­merga forces have de­stroyed the myth of ISIS. With lim­ited re­sources, Pesh­merga fight­ers have been able to in­flict heavy dam­age on ISIS ter­ror­ists and re­gain con­trol of 27,000 square kilo­me­ters that was lost to ISIS in the sum­mer of 2014.” Re­fer­ring to the ar­eas that fall un­der ar­ti­cle 140, the Pres­i­dent em­pha­sized that the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion will not im­pose its will and that the peo­ple liv­ing in those ar­eas will have the right to de­cide their fate through ref­er­en­dum.

The Pres­i­dent thanked the mem­bers of the counter ISIS coali­tion for their mil­i­tary sup­port to the Pesh­merga forces but stressed that con­tin­ued sup­port is needed, as ISIS re­mains a threat to re­gional and in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity. He en­cour­aged all re­gional pow­ers to unite forces against ISIS and stated that the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion will not be part of the on­go­ing sec­tar­ian ri­valry across the Middle East.

Re­gard­ing the pres­ence of 1.8 mil­lion refugees and dis­placed peo­ple in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Pres­i­dent Barzani stated, “We con­sider car­ing for refugees and dis­placed peo­ple in the re­gion as our hu­man­i­tar­ian duty. We have done what­ever we can to re­lieve the suf­fer­ing of th­ese vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple but con­sid­er­ing the fi­nan­cial chal­lenges fac­ing the KRG, sus­tain­ing such kind of sup­port would re­quire fur­ther as­sis­tance from our friends in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.”

Pres­i­dent Barzani re­it­er­ated the com­mit­ment of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion to solve its out­stand­ing is­sues with Bagh­dad through di­a­logue and peace­ful means. Com­ment­ing on the in­ter­nal political de­vel­op­ments, the Pres­i­dent said that he would meet all political par­ties in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion to reach a con­sen­sus on the out­stand­ing political is­sues.

On be­half of the diplo­matic corps, the Consul Gen­eral of Pales­tine, Nazmi Ha­zouri, who serves as the dean of the di­plo­mats, thanked Pres­i­dent Barzani and DFR for the op­por­tu­nity and val­ued KRG’s hu­man­i­tar­ian and mil­i­tary role in the face of re­gional cri­sis.

At the end of the meet­ing, sev­eral di­plo­mats and rep­re­sen­ta­tives ex­changed thoughts on de­vel­op­ments in Kur­dis­tan and the wider re­gion with Pres­i­dent Barzani.

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