Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, received Minister Falah Mustafa on Thursday to discuss bilateral ties between the Kurdistan Region and the Republic of Cyprus as well as latest developments in the wider region.
In welcoming Minister Mustafa and his accompanying delegation, Foreign Minister Kasoulides said, “We are determined to strengthen bilateral ties with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region for the benefit of the people of both sides.”
Minister Mustafa thanked Foreign Minister Kasoulides for his hospitality and expressed the desire of the Kurdistan Regional Government to benefit from the experience and knowledge of the Republic of Cyprus in further advancing the Kurdistan Region.
Both sides spoke in detail of the military advances of the Kurdish peshmerga forces against ISIS on the ground, humanitarian condition of over 1.5 million refugees and internally displaced people in the Kurdistan Region as well as the political developments in Iraq, including Erbil-Baghdad relations.
Commending the KRG’s humanitarian response, the Foreign Minister stated that the KRG, with limited resources, has done an amazing job in providing humanitarian assistance for the refugees and displaced people who have sought refuge in the region.
Praising the role of the Kurds in the fight against ISIS, Minister Kasoulides, stressed that, “The bravery of Peshmerga forces and the resistance of Kurdish forces in the city of Kobane are very admirable and recognized by the international community.”
Both Ministers highlighted the importance of opening a representative office of the Republic of Cyprus in Erbil in order to further develop economic, political, cultural, and political ties between Erbil and Nicosia. Minister Kasoulides announced that Cyprus will open an honorary consulate in Erbil in a near future.
Minister Mustafa outlined Kurdistan Region’s extensive economic potential and investment opportunities.
He stressed, “Kurdistan is safe and secure; we encourage the companies of the Republic of Cyprus to invest in the Kurdistan Region and participate in the economic development of our region.”
Both Ministers discussed the crimes committed against Yezidis and other components by the ISIS terrorists. Foreign Minister Kasoulides conveyed the support of Cyprus for the KRG’s efforts in seeking international recognition of terrorist crimes committed against religious and ethnic minorities as acts of genocide.