Masrour Barzani stresses Erbil – Kiev ties with Ukrainian envoy
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - The Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani on Wednesday called for strengthening relations between the Kurdistan Region and Ukraine.
Barzani’s comments came during his meeting in Erbil with the Ukrainian Ambassador to Iraq Victor Nedopas.
“Both sides reiterated a shared commitment to expanding cooperation, with particular emphasis on security issues and trade and investment,” read a statement released by the KRSC press office.
“Recognizing the historic relationship between the peoples of [the] Kurdistan Region and Ukraine, Chancellor Barzani encouraged Ambassador Nedopas to build strong people-to-people links through [a] diplomatic presence in Erbil.”
In recent years, both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Ukraine have agreed that the latter would establish a consulate in the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, but complications resulting from the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) and tensions between Erbil and Baghdad have delayed the process, a source from the KRG Foreign Affairs Department told Kurdistan 24.
The embassy from the Eastern European nation is planning to open its honorary consulate in Erbil soon, the source added.
Currently, there are 39 consulates and representative offices of different countries in the Kurdistan Region, including the Consulate-Generals of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
During Wednesday's meeting, the two also discussed the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad at some length. In that regard, Chancellor Barzani said that the Kurdistan Region looks forward to a new chapter with Iraq’s new government, now that the difficult post-referendum period has passed.
Editing by John J. Catherine