Closer trade and political ties were forged this week between Kurdistan and Northern Ireland during a visit to Belfast by a Kurdish business delegation led by two ministers.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Trade and Industry Minister Sinan Celebi, Municipalities and Tourism Minister Samir Abdullah and several KRG officials met with Northern Ireland's Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster at the Kurdistan Business Seminar in Belfast which involved more than 40 Northern Irish companies.
Several leading Kurdish companies and representatives of trade organisations, as well as senior KRG officials from the Investment Board, the Trade Ministry, the Council of Ministers and the KRG UK Representation attended.
Mrs Foster said, "I'm delighted that a Kurdistan trade delegation is visiting Northern Ireland. I believe our region has a good mix of what Kurdistan needs". Mrs Foster was invited by the KRG ministers to lead a Northern Ireland mission to Kurdistan.
At least £1.7million (pounds) worth of trade has been done between the two regions following a three-day visit to Kurdistan by a Northern Ireland delegation in January and much more is expected.
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