Canada applauds Kurdistan on elections, will maintain strong partnership: Embassy
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Canada will continue to be a “strong partner” of the Kurdistan Region, the Canadian Embassy in Iraq said on Tuesday.
In a tweet on its official page, the embassy congratulated the people of Kurdistan for their recent elections, highlighting the part women played in the process.
“Canada congrats Kurdish people for participating [in the Sept. 30 elections], and we applaud the civic engagement of women and youth who volunteered on Election Day,” the embassy wrote in the post.
“We look forward to the results and a swift constitution of a new Parliament and Government,” it added. “Canada will remain a strong partner of Iraq, including the Kurdish Region.”
We look forward to the results and a swift constitution of a new Parliament and Government. Canada will remain a strong partner of Iraq, including the Kurdish Region.— Canada in Iraq (@CanadainIraq) October 2, 2018
The Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary election kicked off on Sunday morning for over three million voters, the first regional elections since the defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS).
According to the Kurdistan Region’s electoral commission, the results will be announced 72 hours after the polling stations closed (6 p.m. local time on Sunday).
With at least 85 percent of ballots counted, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) looks set to win the elections with over 40 percent of votes. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is in second with a little over 20 percent, followed by the Gorran (Change) Movement with 13 percent.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Canada’s newly-appointed Ambassador to Iraq, Paul Gibbard, presented his credentials to incumbent Iraqi President Fuad Masum. Gibbard is Ottawa’s first resident ambassador to Iraq since 1991.
Following the Canadian ambassador’s meeting with Masum, Canada’s Embassy in Iraq said Gibbard’s appointment would “further strengthen the ongoing cooperation” between the two countries.
Canada has backed Iraq as well as the Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces as part of the US-led Coalition in the war against IS.
At the height of the IS war before the group’s military defeat in 2017, Canadian forces were stationed in the Kurdistan Region's capital of Erbil where they supported Peshmerga forces.
Ottawa is also leading a NATO mission to train security forces in Iraq. In August, Canada’s Department of National Defense announced the appointment of Major-General Dany Fortin to lead the mission.
Editing by John J. Catherine