Kurdistan Kurdistan, Catalonia to strengthen ties

Kurdistan, Catalonia to strengthen ties
The national flags of Kurdistan and Catalonia. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – In a visit to Spain, the Director of the Kurdistan Region Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) Falah Mustafa discussed bilateral relations with Catalan officials.

On Tuesday, Mustafa met the Director of Foreign Relations of Catalan government Marina Falco to discuss establishing bilateral relations, according to DFR media office.

During the meeting, Mustafa briefly explained “the history of the Kurdistan Region, as well as the financial, humanitarian and security challenges facing the KRG.”

The Director of the Kurdistan Regional Goverment (DFR) Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) Falah Mustafa (L) with the Director of Foreign Relations of Catalan government Marina Falco, Barcelona, Spain, May 9, 2017. (Photo: DFR)

The Kurdish official highlighted the plan of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to host an independence referendum following the post-Islamic State (IS) Mosul, where the people of the Kurdistan Region will be given the right to decide on their future whether they want to stay as part of Iraq or secede.

In another part of the meeting, both sides exchanged views on potential cooperation namely “in building a long-term partnership in areas of tourism, sport, agriculture, women empowerment, and capacity building programs.”

Falco noted that the government of Catalonia recognized the KRG’s significant role in restoring regional stability as well as the Kurdish role in the fight against the IS.  She expressed the Catalan government’s desire and willingness to cooperate with the KRG in different aspects.

Both officials agreed to prepare a memorandum of understanding “as a stepping stone in building and broadening bilateral cooperation.”

Kurdistan Region and Catalonia have similar status where both regions are autonomous within sovereign countries.