The Swedish Ambassador to Iraq, Jörgen Lindström, met with Minister Falah Mustafa today to follow up on recent developments in Kurdistan and in the greater region.
Sweden currently has a Section Office established in Erbil as well as representation from the Swedish Trade Council. Sweden continues to be one of Iraq’s largest European trading partners and has several projects in Kurdistan.
During the meeting, Ambassador Lindström discussed the recent violence in Iraq and the ‘great success’ the KRG has in delivering security to Kurdistan. He also spoke about the recent visits between Erbil and Baghdad and the need to capitalise the opportunities to resolve differences.
Minister Mustafa expressed his appreciation for the strong Swedish engagement in Kurdistan, saying the Kurdish people are mindful of the refuge Sweden provided to tens of thousands.
‘Despite our tragic past, we have chosen to be part of the new Iraq and have opened a new chapter,’ Minister Mustafa said. He added that Kurdistan would continue on this path so long as Iraq has a federal, democratic and pluralistic makeup.
The meeting also touched upon several other issues, including ties with neighbouring countries and the ongoing crisis in Syria. Minister Mustafa called for more international aid to roughly 160,000 refugees currently in Kurdistan, saying the KRG has limited resources available and this cannot be done alone. He said, ‘We have been largely forgotten with regards to the large number of refugees who we house.’
Both sides also discussed the upcoming elections in Kurdistan, as well as the upcoming Kurdish National Congress. Minister Mustafa said that the aim of the congress is to send a message of peace and co-existence.
The meeting was also attended by Ms. Siham Jabali, Assistant-Head of DFR and Ms. Negin Tagavi, Second Secretary from the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad.