Italy's ambassador to Iraq and the director general for political and security affairs at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs met President Masoud Barzani and government officials in a visit to the Kurdistan Region this week.
Italy’s Ambassador to Iraq Gerardo Carante was joined by Ambassador Sandro De Berrnadrin in a visit that is part of Italy’s efforts to foster closer diplomatic and trade relations with the Kurdistan Region and was part of Ambassador De Berrnardin’s wider visit to Iraq.
In his meeting with the delegation, President Barzani said that he was pleased to welcome the ambassadors to Kurdistan. “We are very happy to have a representation of the Italian government and people here in Kurdistan, and we hope that we will be able to see their presence here increase in the coming years as the Region continues to develop and progress.”
Ambassador De Berrnadrin expressed his pleasure at being able to visit the Region and said, “Your desire to further our relations is also our desire, and the opening of our diplomatic post here in Erbil is a testament to our commitment.”
Both sides went on to discuss the current political developments in Iraq and in the wider region as a whole, and President Barzani briefed the ambassadors about the efforts by Kurdish leaders both in Erbil and in Baghdad to bring all the political factions together in a national conference.
Ambassador De Berrnadrin was hopeful for the resolution of the contentious issues among Iraq's political groups. He said, “We praise the role that the Region is playing, not only in Iraq, but also in the wider region. The wise approach that your government has taken on a number of issues is encouraging, and we believe that it is improving the situation.”
In a separate meeting with the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, both sides discussed a number of sectors in which they could work more closely together, giving particular attention to expanding economic and trade relations.
“We want to promote a relationship that benefits both sides,” the Minister said. “You stand to benefit from profits, and the Region stands to benefit from your involvement in rebuilding our infrastructure. We have suffered from destruction for many years. We are now in the process of rebuilding, and we can use your continued support and involvement,” he added.
In addition to these meetings, the ambassadors met with a number of other senior KRG officials and were accompanied by Dr Simone De Santi, Head of the Erbil Consular Office of the Embassy of Italy.