ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Armenian Ambassador to Iraq announced on Thursday that his country plans to open a new consulate in the Kurdistan Region in the near future.
“The purpose of my visit is to develop the relation[s] between Armenia and Kurdistan Region and to visit the Armenian citizens in Duhok and Zakho,” Ambassador Hrachya Poladian told Kurdistan 24 while in the northern province of Duhok.
He affirmed his country’s support for the Kurdistan Region, extending his thanks and gratitude to its people and government for safekeeping Armenian citizens and providing them with an environment to freely practice their faith.
“We have good ties with the Kurdistan Region in terms of economy, politics, and trade and we are planning in coordination with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to open a Consulate General in Erbil, as the Armenian government have provided the needed budget in 2020 to achieve that, which will improve the relationship between us,” added Poladian.
According to a 2011 census, more than 37,000 Kurds live in Armenia, predominantly in western parts of the country.
The autonomous Kurdistan Region has a unicameral parliamentary legislature with 111 seats, with quota seats reserved for Turkmen and Christian parties and one specifically set aside for a member of an Armenian party.
In May, the KRG opened the first Armenian Orthodox church in Erbil's Christian-majority district of Ankawa.
“The opening of this church itself is laying another foundation stone for a peaceful coexistence of different ethnic and religious groups in the Kurdistan Region,” Safeen Dizayee, the spokesperson of the KRG present to represent Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani at the observance, told Kurdistan 24.
In June, the Iraqi Ministry of Transport announced that it had launched the first Iraqi bus line traveling Armenia that day, in what it called, "the first of its kind."
A ministry statement read that the addition to its routes comes within the framework of "the development of international transport and openness to neighboring countries and regional countries."
Busses will pass from Iraq eastward into Iran, and then northward into Armenia, as the statement continued, to open up "new horizons" in tourism available to Iraqis.
Editing by John J. Catherine