Officials from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their mission in Baghdad came together in Erbil yesterday to officially open their embassy liaison office.
The Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Renée Jones-Bos, was in the Kurdistan Region during the opening of the Erbil Embassy Liaison Office, which will be headed by Mr Jeroen Kelderhuis.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Dutch Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Harry Molenaar, welcomed government officials and diplomats to the ceremony, saying that the event marks a significant step in relations. He said, “I’m proud to host this event for two reasons; firstly because we conclude the first high-ranking official visit, and secondly of course is that we are officially launching our presence here in the Kurdistan Region.”
The Netherlands is the 26th country to have established a presence in Erbil.
Mrs Jones-Bos acknowledged the hardships that the Kurdish people faced under the former regime – many of whom fled to the Netherlands. She said, “We are here partly because of our good relations with the people of the Region and also because we think we have something to offer.”
She touched on the visible progress being achieved and the political maturity taking place, and praised Kurdistan’s leadership for their vision.
She also spoke of the monument in the Netherlands to commemorate the history and suffering of the Kurdish people.