ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Canada’s Ambassador to Iraq praised the role of women in the formation of the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) during separate meetings on Thursday with senior Kurdish leaders.
Paul Gibbard, Canadian Ambassador to Iraq, and an accompanying delegation that included the head of Canada’s office in Erbil, Ashley Durec, met with both Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani and KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in Erbil.
During his meeting with the Kurdistan president, Gibbard said the two had a “good discussion…on governance and federalism.”
“Talked too about role of women and #WomensRights and how these will remain a priority in” the Kurdistan Region, he added in a tweet.
Good discussion this morning with @IKRPresident Nechirvan Barzani on #governance and federalism, along with new Head of Office in #Erbil @AshleyDurec. Talked too about role of women and #WomensRights and how these will remain a priority in #KRI @CanadainIraq pic.twitter.com/qqQvc0MP4H— Paul Gibbard (@PaulGibbardCda) October 3, 2019
Both sides also spoke about the situation in Iraq, the implementation of the Iraqi Constitution, preventing the re-emergence of terrorism, the condition of displaced persons and refugees, and how the KRG can “benefit from the successful Canadian experiences,” a statement from President Barzani’s office read.
Elsewhere, in his meeting with Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, the Canadian diplomat underlined his appreciation for “the effective role of women” in the KRG, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.
“The Canadian Ambassador expressed his country’s readiness to support the Kurdistan Region in the field of consultancy, especially with regard to Canada’s experience in the federal system,” it added.
Gibbard later wrote on Twitter that he had an “interesting discussion” with the Kurdish prime minister “on reform priorities, including relations with the federal #Iraq government, fight against corruption, and importance of #womenleaders at all levels.”
Interesting discussion with #KRI Prime Minister @masrour_barzani on reform priorities, including relations with federal #Iraq government, fight against corruption, and importance of #womenleaders at all levels, along with our new #Erbil Head of Office @AshleyDurec @CanadainIraq pic.twitter.com/920wFCnNzU— Paul Gibbard (@PaulGibbardCda) October 3, 2019
The Canadian diplomat became Ottawa’s first resident ambassador to Iraq since 1991 when he presented his credentials to incumbent Iraqi President Fuad Masum in October 2018.
Canada has backed Iraq as well as the Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces as part of the US-led coalition in the war against the so-called Islamic State.
At the height of the Islamic State 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 troops.