The Netherlands’ Deputy Head of Mission to Iraq, Mr Lars Tummers, today announced that the Dutch government has decided to station a diplomat in the Kurdistan Region.
In his meeting with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Head of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa, Deputy Tummers said that the Dutch Foreign Ministry has decided to upgrade its representation and post a diplomat in the Region at the beginning of 2012.
Minister Mustafa received the news warmly and said, “We welcome this decision by the Dutch government, and view it as a positive and mutually beneficial step forward. We know how hard the previous Dutch Ambassador to Iraq, Peter van Leeuwen, and his successor, Ambassador Jeroen Roodenburg, have worked in order to bring about this diplomatic representation, and we sincerely appreciate their efforts.”
Mr Tummers expressed his hope that having a Dutch diplomat in Kurdistan will improve consular services, strengthen ties with the KRG, and enhance commercial cooperation between the Netherlands and the Kurdistan Region. He also spoke about the growing number of Dutch companies visiting the Region recently, with several participating in the Erbil International Oil & Gas Exhibition earlier this week. They discussed ways to promote more Dutch participation in such events.
In the days of the former regime, the Dutch government welcomed a large number of Iraqi Kurds as refugees, some of whom have now returned to the Region and are contributing to its redevelopment. The new diplomat will work closely with the KRG to provide better support to these individuals and to the rest of the Dutch community in Kurdistan, as well as to assist the increasing number of companies and individuals travelling between the Netherlands and the Region.
Both sides also discussed the ongoing political situation in Baghdad and the impact of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq both on the Kurdistan Region and on Iraq as a whole. Minister Mustafa briefed Mr Tummers on the recent visit to the US by a senior delegation of the Kurdistan Region which met with a large number of American government officials and private sector leaders.