France, Germany to establish joint cultural center at Erbil Citadel
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A joint French-German cultural center to foster ties between the Kurdish people and the respective European countries will be established at the historic Erbil Citadel, according to a statement.
German Ambassador to Iraq Martin Jaeger and French envoy Eric Chevalier announced their countries’ intentions to inaugurate the cultural center in a meeting with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani in Erbil on Sunday, a statement from the Kurdish leader’s office, Barzani Headquarters, read.
The center aims to improve the “cultural, scientific and people-to-people relations” between Erbil, Paris, and Berlin, the press release read.
Erbil Citadel is one of the oldest heritage sites in the Middle East, which has been continuously inhabited for more than six thousand years and is on the United Nations’ World Heritage Site.
The foundation stones of the cultural center were laid in presence of the Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, and German and French ambassadors at Erbil Citadel on Sunday afternoon.
The decision to open the center comes on the 60th anniversary of the Elyse Treaty, a friendship pact signed between Paris and Berlin in 1963.
Barzani welcomed the initiative, describing it as “critical and effective.”
The stability and development of the Kurdistan Region are important, the diplomats told the Kurdish leader.
Bundestag, the German Parliament, has recently recognized the atrocities committed by ISIS against Yezidis as genocide.
Barzani appreciated the German lawmakers’ decision, saying the recognition was a “critical and historic step,” the press release added. He hoped other European Union countries would follow suit to “serve justice and alleviate the pain” suffered by the members of the religious community.
They also discussed the latest political developments in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
The diplomats expressed their delight in the “positive atmosphere” in Erbil and Baghdad relations.