ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The delegation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) met with officials from various countries to discuss the latest dialogue between Erbil-Baghdad on the second day of the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC). In addition to scheduled meetings, the delegation has also met informally with many officials on the sidelines.
Its members are the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani, Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani, head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) Falah Mustafa, and the Chief of Staff to the Kurdistan Region Presidency Fuad Hussein.
The delegates met with Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East Alistair Burt. According to the KRG press office, they discussed the role and sacrifices of the Peshmerga in defeating the Islamic State (IS), the ongoing Erbil-Baghdad dialogue, Kuwait’s recent conference for the reconstruction of Iraq, and the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their areas of origin that have been liberated from IS.
Following the meeting, Burt told Kurdistan 24 that the international flight ban imposed on airports in the Kurdistan Region by the Iraqi government is a matter to be resolved between Erbil and Baghdad, stating the ban affects not only the Kurdistan Region, but also Iraq as a nation.
The Kurdish delegates met with Sweden’s Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, discussing the war against the IS, post-IS rebuilding, IDPs, Erbil-Baghdad dialogue, and Sweden’s humanitarian and military support to the Kurdistan Region.
The delegation led by Prime Minister Barzani also met with former US vice-President Joe Biden, discussing the latest developments in Erbil-Baghdad relations, the general situation in post-IS Iraq, the country's political process, and upcoming elections in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
“The meeting was good. I have great affection for the Kurds overall. I was impressed that Prime Minister [Barzani] is making some very constructive suggestions to Baghdad as a way to get through the present difficulties, and I am hopeful,” Biden told reporters following the meeting.
The Kurdistan Region’s delegation also met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, covering such issues as bilateral ties between Kuwait and Erbil, the Kuwait conference, Kuwait’s investment in the sectors of agriculture, tourism, and industry in the Kurdistan Region, Erbil-Baghdad dialogue, the conflict with IS, IDPs, and general stabilization in Iraq.
Additionally, the KRG officials meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Bavarian delegates on the second day of the conference, and are scheduled to conduct additional sideline meetings with European officials on Sunday.
Editing by John J. Catherine