KDP leader, Greek diplomats discuss Erbil-Athens ties, political situation in Iraq

Greece's top diplomats in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region met on Sunday with KDP leader Masoud Barzani in Erbil.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani met on Sunday with Greek Ambassador to Iraq Leonidas Kontovounesios and discussed the latest political developments in the region.

Kontovounesios was accompanied by the Consul-General of the Hellenic Republic to Erbil, Efthymios Costopoulos. The meeting took place in Erbil.

According to a statement from Barzani’s office, the two sides discussed a range of topics including bilateral Erbil-Athens ties, the political situation in Iraq, and the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

Barzani and Kontovounesios reviewed Erbil-Bagdad relations, which have seen progress recently amid ongoing disputes over oil production and the national budget.

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The two sides also stressed the need to develop bilateral relations between the people of the Kurdistan Region and Greece and discussed the situation of the Kurdish community in Greece, according to Barzani’s office.

The Greek ambassador praised the role of the Peshmerga forces in the fight against terrorism, the statement added.

Athens upgraded its representative office in the Kurdistan Region in late 2018, with the stated aim of strengthening bilateral relations with the autonomous Kurdish region.

“I am very proud to open the consulate and be the first Consul-General of Greece in Erbil. This was the decision that was taken because we believe our relations with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq are very important,” Costopoulos told Kurdistan 24 in early February.

The Consul-General has since met with senior Kurdish leaders and officials several times.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany