Iranian FM meets senior Kurdish leaders in Erbil to discuss bilateral ties

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif landed in Erbil on Tuesday where he was greeted by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Prime Minister...

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif landed in Erbil on Tuesday where he was greeted by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, before holding a series of meetings.

The latest visit is part of a five-day-long trip to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Zarif arrived in Baghdad on Sunday accompanied by a delegation comprised of 30 officials and businesspersons.

During Zarif’s meeting with Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Chancellor, Masrour Barzani, the two discussed the latest developments in the region and the strengthening of bilateral ties, according to a statement from Barzani’s office.

The security chief pointed to the “historic ties between the people of Kurdistan Region and the peoples of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” He also highlighted they enjoy “good neighborly relations” and respect based on their “shared mutual interests.”

Both officials agreed terrorism remains a threat in the region and that “all sides must work together” toward its elimination.

In his meeting with Zarif, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani thanked Tehran for their aid in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and reiterated the importance of cooperation between regional states to exterminate the jihadist group, a statement from the Prime Minister’s office read.

Zarif “expressed happiness and the support of his country for improving Erbil-Bagdad relations and hoped all issues would be resolved through dialogue.”

The Iranian delegation is set to participate in multiple business-focused symposiums across the country. The Erbil Chamber of Commerce and Industry already hosted one such event to connect businesses and investors from Iran and the Kurdistan Region.

Both the Prime Minister and Zarif attended the symposium where top officials held a briefing. Barzani noted the Kurdistan Region was still recovering from its recent financial crisis and thanked Iranian businesses for maintaining their presence in the region.

He underlined the “historic and cultural ties” with Iran and added that Erbil would further strengthen relations “based on the framework of international law.”

Zarif also met with the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani.

The two discussed bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and Iran, and how to further enhance those relations to be of “mutual benefit” to both sides, a tweet from Masoud Barzani’s official Twitter read.

Editing by Nadia Riva