Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani on Monday received a delegation of European Union ambassadors and representatives who are in the Kurdistan Region to discuss ongoing political disagreements in Iraq. The joint European missions are holding consultations with various Iraqi political factions to reduce tensions and understand the role that the EU can play to build confidence.
Leading the visit, the Head of EU Delegation to Iraq Ms Jana Hybaskova, reiterated EU’s interest in Iraq as a whole and its support for the democratic process. The diplomats commended Prime Minister Barzani for the clear and rapid development of Kurdistan and welcomed his efforts in finding peaceful solutions with the Federal Government in Baghdad. Following their visit, a report will be sent to the European Council of Foreign Affairs which will be holding a high-level meeting in Brussels that will include all 27 EU Foreign Ministers.
Prime Minister Barzani welcomed the initiative, underlining his government’s commitment to the Iraqi Constitution, its implementation, and the need for greater international support and engagement to help resolve the deadlock. He touched on the current political crisis, the increasing protests, and the need to resort to dialogue to resolve pending disagreements between Erbil and Baghdad. He reaffirmed that solutions to the ongoing problems and passing key legislation is in the interest of the entire country, adding that federalism is the most viable solution to Iraq. He spoke of the need for more European engagement to develop the region’s infrastructure and in the energy and banking industries. Prime Minister Barzani called for EU’s knowledge and experience to promote and empower the rule of law in Kurdistan.
Both sides also discussed broader developments in the Middle East. As part of their visit, the delegation has also met with President Barzani, Speaker of the Parliament Dr Arsalan Baiz, Minister for the Interior Karim Sinjari, the Head of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa, Minister for Natural Resources Dr Ashti Hawrami, the KRG Spokesman Safeen Dizayee, and the Deputy Secretary General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Dr Barham Salih. The EU representatives at the meeting with Prime Minister Barzani were the ambassadors of Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic, Germany’s Deputy Head of Mission, the consuls of the UK, France, and Italy, and the Head of the Netherlands Liaison Office.