This week the Palestinian Authority became the 22nd country to establish a diplomatic representation in the Kurdistan Region.
The Consulate General will be headed by Ambassador Nazmi Hazouri, and will join the other countries that have already established a strong presence in the region with Consulate Generals. Ambassador Hazouri, who arrived in the region in September, said that the opening was a ‘great achievement’ for the Palestinian people and thanked Kurdistan’s leadership for their strong support.
Ambassador Hazouri said, ‘In the name of Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, it is an honour for our people to welcome you all in witnessing this important day. We are honoured to have the presence of President Masoud Barzani and other senior officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government.’
Speaking at the inauguration, President Masoud Barzani congratulated the Palestinian Authority and said it was a historic day for both the Palestinian people and the people of the Kurdistan. He referred to the visit of President Abbas in 2009 and said, ‘We will always remember that President Abbas was the first Arab leader to visit the Region.’ He went on to say that he hopes the visit and presence of a Consulate General will lead to more cooperation and visits with the Arab world.
The inauguration was attended by Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Kamal Kirkuki, Prime Minister Barham Salih, KRG Ministers and representatives from the diplomatic community.
Commenting on the growing foreign diplomatic presence in the Kurdistan Region, Minister Falah Mustafa, the Head of KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations, said, ’We are very pleased with the increasing number of Arab diplomatic representations in the region. This is another step in developing meaningful relations with the Arab world; I believe that the Palestinian representation will enhance political, economic and cultural activities with the Arab world and I hope that it will lead to more Arab engagement in the Kurdistan Region.’