Posted on 24 February 2013 .
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hosted President Masoud Barzani in the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday for discussions on “bilateral relations” and the situation in Iraq and Syria.
In today’s meeting, both sides emphasized the need to strengthen relations between Russia on the one hand and Iraq and the Kurdistan Region on the other.
Foreign Minister Lavrov echoed President Putin’s words yesterday that Russia wants to establish strong ties with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The two sides also discussed developments in Syria and the impact of this crisis on both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. President Barzani said more than 75,000 Syrian refugees now reside in Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Regional Government now sends humanitarian aid across the border to refugees in Syria. He added that while it is for the Syrian people to decide their future, the rights of Syrian Kurds must be respected.
President Barzani and Foreign Minister Lavrov also talked about economic cooperation, particularly the role of Russian energy companies in Kurdistan and Iraq.
Dr. Mark A. DeWeaver
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