India’s first ambassador to be appointed to Iraq in the last nine years yesterday made his first visit to the Kurdistan Region, to meet President Masoud Barzani and to discuss economic partnership opportunities with the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The three-day visit was Ambassador Reddy’s first trip to the Kurdistan Region since assuming his post in Baghdad in August this year. While the Indian embassy has been operating, it was without an ambassador for nine years until Mr Reddy's appointment. This trip was a step toward developing relations between the Republic of India and the Kurdistan Region.
Meeting with President Barzani, the Ambassador thanked him and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the warm welcome given to the Indian community in Kurdistan, and he commended the Region’s leadership for their vision in achieving good progress. He also spoke of his government’s desire for more coordination in investment and the economic sector.
“I very much wanted to come and see the situation in this Region firsthand,” he said, adding “We would be very happy to partner with the Kurdistan Region in a variety of areas, and we hope that we can share our expertise with the people of the Region.”
President Barzani reaffirmed Kurdistan’s desire to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the people and government of India and said that he will discuss with KRG ministers areas of potential cooperation.
The President also talked about the historic bond that join the Kurdish and Indian people, highlighting the role of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in publicising the injustice and oppression that was imposed on the Kurdish nation in the 1920s, even before India had gained its own independence. The President added that Prime Minister Nehru’s constant advocacy for Kurdish rights has not been forgotten and said that it is a great foundation on which to build more robust relations today.