ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish official Safeen Dizayee officially took office as the new head of the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) on Sunday, replacing outgoing head Falah Mustafa as part of the formation of the new government cabinet announced earlier in July.
Mustafa has been at the helm of the DFR for the past 13 years, since the department's establishment.
Serving the people of @Kurdistan Region as Head of @KRG_DFR for the past 13 years has been the greatest honor of my life. I want to thank my family & colleagues @DFR_KRG for their tremendous support. I congratulate my successor & dear friend @SafeenDizayee & wish him all the best pic.twitter.com/msRFlzh7yn— Falah Mustafa (@FalahMustafa) July 21, 2019
Currently, there are roughly 40 consulates or other foreign representative's offices in the autonomous Kurdish region. The KRG has diplomatic missions in 14 countries across the world, including all five permanent members of the UN Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France.
Dizayee previously served as the KRG's spokesperson.
The DFR plays a key role in strengthening the Kurdistan Region’s ties with countries around the world as well as coordinating official communications with them. The department's head has full ministerial standing in the KRG cabinet.
The current regional government, headed by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, was formed on July 10, when it was approved by a majority vote of lawmakers in the Kurdistan Parliament.
The leadership has stated that it aims to carry out reforms in the public sector, improve regional governance, and develop ties with the federal government of Iraq by resolving outstanding disputes with Baghdad that have plagued previous administrations.
Editing by John J. Catherine