KRG and Northern Ireland to Broaden Cooperation

A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government visited Northern Ireland this week to take forward an agreement that forges cooperation in several sectors between Kurdistan and Northern Ireland.

The delegation, led by Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, was hosted in Enniskillen by Arlene Foster, the Northern Ireland Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and Invest Northern Ireland, the region's business development agency. The delegation consists of directors from various KRG ministries, the KRG UK Representation and the Kurdistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

On Tuesday, the ministers led a steering committee that discussed the implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the two regions signed last year. The MoU promotes cooperation in the fields of agriculture, tourism, higher education, commerce, investment and police training.

At the meeting, it was agreed that housing would be considered for inclusion in the agreement and that a follow-up meeting would take place in Erbil to assess the progress of the agreement.

The mission to Northern Ireland followed a productive visit there in February by President Masoud Barzani who in turn invited the First and Deputy first Ministers of the region to visit Kurdistan.

Minister Foster, welcoming the delegation to Enniskillen, said:

"I see these meetings as a display of faith in the future of Kurdistan. I believe that the experience and skills we have in Northern Ireland are relevant to the needs of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

"I also believe that working together we will achieve a common goal of developing our economies. We have made a great start and I am keen to grow our partnerships."

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