The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, has met the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier welcomed President Barzani to Germany and spoke about his visit to Erbil back in 2008, highlighting his desire to visit Kurdistan again soon. He added that he was aware of the rapid developments happening in Kurdistan and reiterated Germany’s commitment to working closely with Kurdistan to further strengthen bilateral relations.
For his part, President Barzani expressed his pleasure at the opportunity of once again meeting Foreign Minister Steinmeier and expressed his hope that the Foreign Minister would indeed visit Kurdistan again soon to witness first-hand the developments in the region. He added that the Kurdistan Region views its ties with Germany with great importance.
President Barzani, briefed Minister Steinmeier on the current situation in Kurdistan, the recent security developments in the Anbar province, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections in April, the issue of oil exports via Turkey and the impact of the Syrian crisis on Kurdistan and on Iraq.
On the political challenges facing Iraq and especially the security crisis in the Anbar province, the President said, “It is important that a comprehensive solution is found for the problems facing Iraq, and the real solution is for Iraq to be committed to a federal system, which is a basic principle in Iraq’s constitution.”
“It is equally important that all sides work together in the fight against terrorism, especially at a time when they have increasingly grown in strength and now constitute a real threat to the whole region.” He highlighted the roots of the security problems in Anbar and some of the other Iraqi provinces and said that this has become a source of instability to all Iraq.
The President stressed the importance that all political groups in Iraq remain committed to holding the parliamentary elections on time, scheduled in late April this year.
On the KRG policy of exporting oil via Turkey, the President reiterated that ties between Kurdistan and Turkey are based on mutual interests, and that these ties would also serve the interest of Iraq in general. In addition he highlighted the legality of the Kurdistan Region’s hydrocarbon policies which are in adherence with Iraq’s constitution.
Finally both sides discussed the latest regarding the formation of a new government in Kurdistan with President Brazani emphasizing that the priorities for Kurdistan are to maintain its security and to continue developing the Region and its economic infrastructure to improve the standards of living for all the people of the region.
The meeting was also attended by the President’s Chief of Staff, Dr Fuad Hussein, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa and the KRG Representative to Germany, Dilshad Barzani.