EU High Rep. Ashton visits Kurdistan Region

The Kurdistan Region’s President and Prime Minister on Monday in Erbil met with the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, on her first visit to the Region.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission visited Erbil to discuss Iraq’s currently instability and the Kurdistan Region’s relations with the federal government.

During her meeting with President Masoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, High Representative Ashton commended the progress and prosperity that Kurdistan is enjoying, saying that the Kurdish people are entitled to keep and defend the gains they have made after many tragedies and sacrifices. She also commended Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s recent visit to Erbil, for allowing dialogue and negotiations to continue so that the outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad can be addressed.

President Barzani described High Representative Ashton’s visit as important and of special interest to Kurdistan. He briefed Mrs Ashton about relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad since the 1991 uprising.

President Barzani said, “The people of Kurdistan crave democracy, progress and co-existence, and the Kurdistan Region’s stability is the result of the Kurdish people’s desire for peace and protection from retaliation and violence. The problems that exist in Iraq are caused by failing to comply with the fundamental principles of partnership and coexistence.”

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