ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Prominent Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani on Friday arrived in Jordan at the invitation of King Abdullah II to participate in the 17th annual World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa.
Jordanian Crown Prince Faisal bin Hussein welcomed Barzani and his accompanying delegation at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman.
Barzani has been seen as keeping a positive relationship with King Abdulla II, the two having met in late January to discuss “a number of regional issues, in addition to the efforts to fight terrorism within a comprehensive approach.”
Barzani currently holds no official governmental post but continues to remain an important political figure in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and is the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). He is accompanied by KDP Secretary-General Fazel Mirani and Falah Mustafa, head of Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
#HAPPENINGNOW: Senior Kurdish leader @masoud_barzani arrives in Jordan to participate in the 17th annual World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, scheduled to kick off on April 6 at the Dead Sea.#TwitterKurds #WEF pic.twitter.com/xpKynv6v49— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) April 5, 2019
The forum will take place at the Dead Sea under the theme of “Building New Platforms of Cooperation.” Out of the 17 times this event has been held, ten of them have been in Jordan, a country largely untouched by the instability of its neighbors.
“More than 1,000 government, business and civil society leaders from over 50 countries are expected to participate,” the WEF wrote in a report released in September.
“The region stands at a crucial moment in its history – with an unprecedented opportunity for transformation, driven by its young populations and their embrace of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF, was quoted as saying in the WEF report.
“The meeting will pay particular attention to women entrepreneurs and key intergenerational issues such as transparency, accountability and sustainability and the protection of the environment,” the WEF also wrote.
Mirek Dusek, a senior WEF member was quoted in a Jordan Times report on Wednesday as saying that the forum would focus on modern technology's impact “on skills and jobs, and new initiatives to help resolve long-standing conflicts.”
“The region is at a pivotal time of taking the bold decisions necessary to future-proof its societies and economies,” he concluded.
Editing by John J. Catherine