Prime Minister Barzani meets Benelux Foreign Ministers

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received a Benelux senior delegation, which included Belgium Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mr. Didier Reynders, The Netherlands Foreign Minister Mr. Bert Koenders, and Luxembourg Foreign Minister Mr. Bert Koenders along with their accompanying delegation.

Also attending the meeting were Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, Iraq’s Ambassador to The Netherlands Saywan Barzani, and a number of KRG senior officials.

The delegation praised the role of the Kurdistan Region’s military forces, the Peshmerga, in the fight against the Islamic State, ISIS. They commended the Kurdistan Region for hosting and assisting a very large number displaced people, and for protecting members of all ethnic and religious groups.

They stressed the need for a comprehensive plan agreed by Baghdad, Erbil, and the coalition countries to sustain peace and stability when country is recovered from ISIS’ control.  This would involve reconstruction of war torn areas and confidence building among Iraq’s ethnic and religious groups.

Strengthening relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Benelux countries, and the ties between Baghdad and Erbil, were also discussed in the meeting. Members of the delegation reiterated their countries’ support to the Region.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his government’s gratitude to the Benelux governments for their support to the Kurdistan Region in the fight against ISIS.

Regarding relations between Erbil and Baghdad, he noted there is close military cooperation in the war against ISIS, unlike political relations which are not yet at the same level. In this regard, Prime Minister Barzani expressed the readiness of the Kurdistan Region to resolve outstanding issues with Baghdad through dialogue and mutual understanding.

Prime Minister Barzani stressed it is Kurdistan Region’s right to seek a permanent settlement for its future within the framework of peaceful negotiations with Baghdad.

In the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani presented a summary of the economic situation in the Kurdistan Region, highlighting the causes of the current financial crisis. He also discussed measures being taken to address the situation, including undertaking administrative and financial reforms.

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