Posted on 21 January 2013. Tags: KRG, Kurdistan
President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, hosted foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations based in Erbil last week to discuss the latest political and economic developments in Kurdistan and in Iraq and to reflect on 2012.
The annual gathering, attended by Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of KRG Department of Foreign Relations, touched on several key issues, including the ongoing crisis facing the political process in Iraq, continued violence in Syria, and plans by the KRG to strengthen ties with the international community.
President Barzani said, “We greatly value your efforts and contributions in developing relations with the Kurdistan Region, and we are happy that there are now 26 foreign representations in Erbil.”
On the recent crises facing Iraq, President Barzani said that the cause is lack of adherence to the Iraqi Constitution and violation of existing agreements, while reaffirming his commitment to work with other Iraqi leaders to tackle disagreements.
“The main cause of these crises is non-commitment to the Iraqi Constitution. It is unfortunate to see an ongoing escalation of tensions in Iraq. Experience has demonstrated that Iraq can only be governed through partnership and genuine power-sharing. We are committed to the Constitution and we believe that dialogue is the only way to address the many serious challenges facing Iraq.”
Regarding efforts to calm tensions between Erbil and Baghdad over the deployment of forces in Kirkuk, the President said: “Negotiations are ongoing between military committees from both sides. We will resist the imposition of any solution on Kirkuk other than the implementation of Article 140 of the Constitution.”
President Barzani said this is an election year for Kurdistan and the KRG is committed to ensuring successful elections are held later this year.
Commenting on the annual meeting, Minister Bakir said: “We have welcomed several new, permanent diplomats to Erbil in 2012, and we expect the arrival of prominent members of the international community as we begin the New Year. Our plans for 2013 include efforts to increase our representations abroad and continue our policy in attracting new diplomatic presence in Kurdistan.”
“We have been able to demonstrate to the diplomatic community that Kurdistan is open and friendly. Our safe and stable security environment has allowed international engagement to grow significantly with our region and we look forward to working with them for the betterment of our people.”
The consuls of several countries and representatives of the UN, ICRC, and other international organisations, Dr Fuad Hussein the Chief of Staff to President Barzani, and senior officials from the Department of Foreign Relations attended the meeting.
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