Nashville Mayor John Cooper: We have so much to benefit from a direct relationship with Kurdistan
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Mayor John Cooper of Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday thanked the Kurdish leadership for their hospitality at the end of his visit to the Kurdistan Region and underlined that the US has much “to benefit from a direct relationship with Kurdistan”
Nashville’s Sister Cities delegation arrived in Erbil over the weekend. Thank you to Gov. Omed Khoshnaw for the warm welcome to your beautiful city. I look forward to learning more about Erbil and finding ways for our cities to build partnerships and thrive together. pic.twitter.com/QEoz96JMtl— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) May 24, 2023
“I speak for all Nashvillians to say how lucky we are to be known as Little Kurdistan,” he told reporters in a press conference.
He thanked Prime Minister Barzani, the governor and mayor of Erbil, the speaker of parliament, General Sirwan Barzani, and the diplomatic team and personnel of protocol “for making our visit so smooth. We so benefited from the generosity, the hospitality, the warmth, and we've learned the history of these great people.”
“We've come and had a marvelous time and we leave never so well fed from the hospitality of our hosts and we go back to create a close relationship, person to person, particularly in education, culture, business and tourism.”
“We have so much to benefit from a direct relationship with Kurdistan, and I speak for all Nashvillians to say how lucky we are to be known as Little Kurdistan, the largest Kurdish community in the Western Hemisphere. We are grateful to have them as neighbors, friends and as part of Nashville. We look forward to [developing] more real connections and cooperation in the future. So, thanks to all our hosts, we feel that we have been hosted by the whole city and by the whole region.”
Mayor John Cooper, accompanied by a delegation, visited Erbil this week to evaluate forging a sister relationship between Nashville and Erbil. In his meeting with PM Barzani, he told the premier Erbil would be the first Middle Eastern city to share sister city status with Nashville.
“We're grateful for the bipartisan support for our efforts to submit Nashville to Erbil as Sister Cities and look forward to exchanges in culture, education, commerce and tourism.”