Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received the Consul Generals and the Representatives of the European Union member states in Erbil on Wednesday.
In the meeting, also attended by the Kurdistan Region Vice Presidents and the KRG Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, the President shed light on the general situation in the Kurdistan Region, Erbil-Baghdad relations, the current negotiations to resolve unsettled disagreements between the two sides and the Kurdistan Region and Iraq’s relations with the neighboring countries. The President also talked about the challenges currently facing the Kurdistan Region and Iraq including the COVID-19 pandemic, ways to contain it and its wide-ranging impacts, encountering ISIS threats, ways to overcome the economic difficulties, as well as the reform process in the Kurdistan Region.
President Nechirvan Barzani expressed his appreciation to the EU member states’ support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region during the war against ISIS led by the United States, and for helping the Kurdistan Region combat the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as providing assistance to the refugees and displaced people in the camps hosted by the Kurdistan Region.
President Nechirvan Barzani expressed the Kurdistan Region’s appreciation to the EU member states for offering support to the reform process in the Kurdistan Region and pledged to continue with the reforms. The President valued the contributions and support of the EU member states in this regard.
President Nechirvan Barzani reaffirmed the support of the Kurdistan Region to the government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Mr. Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and expressed the Kurdistan Region’s willingness to resolve the pending issues in accordance with the Iraqi constitution in a way that meets the lawful claims and rights of the Kurdistan Region.
The President underlined the importance of implementing the federal system as the constitution states and also regarded resolving the country’s issues and the participation of all communities in the governance and political process as essential to the stability of Iraq.
The President reiterated that the Kurdistan Region will remain a factor for stability in Iraq and the wider region and is willing to strengthen ties with neighboring nations on the basis of mutual respect and interests. The President underlined that the Kurdistan Region’s ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey are sound with considerable trade with the two neighboring countries.
The President also talked about the threats of ISIS terror resurgence and reiterated the need for international support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to confront this threat, as well as the importance of cooperation between the Peshmerga and Iraq’s army, particularly in the disputed territories.
In their part, the EU diplomats took part in the discussion and asked several questions regarding the ongoing Iraq-US strategic dialogue, the recent visits of President Nechirvan Barzani to Baghdad and Ankara, as well as issues related to the latest developments in the wider region. The representatives expressed their delight at working with the Kurdistan Region and reiterated that their countries value their relations with the Kurdistan Region.
In response, the President reaffirmed the Kurdistan Region’s policy and perspective on maintaining stability, dialogue, consensus, joint efforts to overcome the crises, and assisting the refugees and IDPs return to their home areas.