The Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, this week welcomed the arrival of new Korean, Dutch and French diplomats posted to the Kurdistan Region.
“We are very pleased at the level of international representation that we now see in the Kurdistan Region,” Minister Mustafa said. “The international presence here represents the tremendous growth that Kurdistan continues to see, and we are confident that their partnership will help sustain and accelerate this growth for many years to come,” he added.
The first Dutch diplomat to be officially posted to the Kurdistan Region, Mr Jeroen Kelderhuis, also arrived in Kurdistan this week to finalise the preparations for the upgrading of the Netherlands Honorary Consul to an Embassy Liaison Office in Erbil.
Replacing his predecessor Mr Joo Joong-Chul, Consul General Younhyon Kim assumed his role as the new Head of the Republic of Korea’s Embassy Office in Erbil this week. The new Consul General was also accompanied in his introductory meeting with Minister Mustafa by the new Head of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Mr Eunsub Kim.
The Consul General of the Republic of France, Mr Alain Guépratte, also accepted his new role in the Region this week. Mr Guépratte previously served as a senior official at the Embassy of France in Baghdad, and he has been in Iraq for over two years.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has welcomed and encouraged the establishment of international representations in Kurdistan in order to provide a positive and supportive environment for international investment, as well as for cooperation and coordination in educational and cultural affairs.
Since the establishment of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations in 2007, 25 consulates and foreign offices have been opened in the Region, and this number continues to grow. These offices provide a direct link of communication with their respective governments, and many of them provide visa assistance, as well as support for the citizens of their home countries residing in Kurdistan.