Students from various universities in Germany visited the Kurdistan Region recently as part of a fact finding mission.
The visit by 14 students was organised by the Kurdistan Students Union in collaboration with Middle East Excursion (MEE), a project that aims to improve links between the Middle East and the international community, particularly with Germany. The MEE project has organised three visits to the Region so far.
In welcoming the group to Kurdistan, Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, the Head of Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations, said, ‘By visiting the Region, you have an opportunity to witness the rich democratic experience that we have pursued for the past 20 years.’ He praised the Kurdistan Students Union for its efforts in assisting with such visits and said it was in line with the KRG’s outreach policies to develop its relations with the international community.
Minister Bakir provided the group with insights into the mechanisms the Region has put in place for a functioning federal structure in Iraq, and touched on the ongoing difficulties with the federal government in Baghdad, including with the oil and gas law and the concerns about genuine Kurdish partnership in the federal government.
When asked about the future of the Kurdistan Region, Minister Bakir said that the KRG is determined to establish and support institutions that can strengthen the democratic experience in the region, support and implement measures that aid and uphold the rule of law, and to ensure the reform agenda continues. He added that attracting interest to the area to assist with the rebuilding process of the country as a whole and with its relations with the international community is another key component of the KRG’s policies.
Minister Bakir emphasised that the KRG seeks more cooperation with friends abroad, including stronger ties between the educational institutions and more cultural exchange programmes to ensure awareness of the Kurdish people and their struggle. He also touched on other aspects of the Kurdistan region, including recent developments with the federal government in Baghdad and its relations with neighbouring countries. Minister Bakir said that the KRG is committed to a federal, democratic and pluralistic Iraq, and stressed the importance of abiding by its constitution. He said, ‘The Kurdistan region is a living example of what the rest of Iraq can achieve, and is a result of a clear vision from the Region’s leadership.’
The group is expected to meet with officials from the Kurdistan Parliament, other KRG officials and universities in the region.