ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Foreign Ministry stated on Monday that it cannot shut down the diplomatic offices and consulates of the foreign countries in the Kurdistan Region because they are not political.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoub in a press conference in Baghdad said foreign diplomatic missions will not be closed in the Kurdistan Region.
“Foreign missions in the Kurdistan Region are not political but they are based there to provide services to their citizens and the Kurdish people,” Mahjoub stated.
Following the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum, the Iraqi parliament and government imposed certain sanctions on the Region in an attempt to force the officials to cancel the referendum results.
One of the decisions, approved by the Parliament in a session, but boycotted by Kurdish MPs, on Sept. 27, was mandating the government to summon the ambassadors and representatives of countries having offices in the Kurdistan Region to either close their offices or move them to outside the Region’s governorates.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi official referring to sanctions imposed on Qatar by some Gulf countries stated that his country does not support any blockade imposed against any country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov after receiving the Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, in a press conference on October 23, said that his country was not closing its consulate in the capital of the Kurdistan Region, but that the mission was nevertheless subordinate to the Russian Embassy in Baghdad.
On November 1, the Republic of Sri Lanka officially opened its Honorary Consulate in the Kurdistan Regions.
There are 38 foreign consulates and representative offices in the Kurdistan Region. Seven of the consulates are honorary.
Editing by Sam A.