Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani at the same meeting briefed High Representative Ashton and her delegation on the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) main energy policies, saying that they adhere to the Iraqi constitution and that the KRG believes Iraq’s natural resources belong to all the Iraqi people. Mrs Ashton welcomed the steps taken by Kurdistan to follow the constitutional and legal foundations of the new Iraq.
Other issues discussed in the meeting were the genocide that was perpetrated against the Kurds in Iraq by previous regimes, the Middle East’s political developments, the Syrian crisis and the plight of Syrian refugees. President Barzani informed the High Representative that the international community’s assistance to the Syrian refugees who have entered the Kurdistan Region is inadequate, as shown by the international community’s indifference and lack of support.
President Barzani urged High Representative Ashton to apply pressure to urge EU member countries and the wider international community to pay more attention to the plight of Syrian refugees who have fled here.
He also asked Mrs Ashton to help achieve international recognition of crimes against the Kurds, including the Anfal campaign and the chemical attacks against civilians, as acts of genocide.
High Representative Ashton responded positively to both requests, and thanked the Kurdistan Region for receiving and accommodating over 150,000 Syrian refugees. She said that the EU will work on finding ways of delivering aid to the refugees currently living in Kurdistan.
Mrs Ashton visited the Kurdistan Region as part of a tour of the Middle East. Also present at the meeting were KRG Deputy Prime Minister Imad Ahmad, President Barzani's Chief of Staff Dr Fuad Hussein, the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, and other senior government officials.