On Sunday, 23 August 2015, in the presence of the Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Ambassador of the European Union in Iraq Jana Hybaskova, Head of KRG Foreign Relations Falah Mustafa, several KRG ministers and members of the diplomatic community, the European Union Delegation Liaison Office in Erbil was officially opened.
Prime Minister Barzani thanked the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini, and Ambassador Hybaskova for their important role in the opening of the EU liaison office in Erbil.
“We seek the support of the EU to enhance our system of governance and we believe that the Kurdistan Region is entitled to receive its fair share of assistance from the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was signed on 11th of May, 2012,” Prime Minister Barzani added.
The KRG Prime Minister expressed appreciation and gratitude of the people and the government of Kurdistan to the members of EU for their military and political support during this challenging time. He also called upon the EU members to continue supporting the KRG in dealing with the humanitarian and security challenges facing the region.
The Prime Minister also called for the moral and political support of the EU to the KRG’s effort to gain international recognition of the crimes committed against Yezidi Kurds and other minorities as acts of genocide. He said, “The international community cannot turn a blind eye to the mass atrocities committed against Yezidi Kurds and other minorities.”
Ambassador Hybaskova expressed her delight at the opening of the EU Delegation Liaison Office in Erbil and stressed that the opening of the office will be a step forward to further strengthen the ties between the EU and the Kurdistan Region.
The EU Ambassador to Iraq highly praised the role of Peshmerga forces in the fight against IS and stated, “The Peshmerga forces are the real force and the only effective force on the ground fighting the ISIS terrorists.”
Commenting on the opening of the EU Office in Erbil, Minister Mustafa said, “We thank the EU for responding positively to the need of opening an office in the Kurdistan Region. We would like to see increased engagement from the EU to support the institutions of the Kurdistan Regional government during this challenging time.”
The Minister also expressed the readiness of the Department of Foreign Relations to fully support the EU mission in Kurdistan Region and to facilitate further cooperation between the KRG and the EU.
Patrick Geysen, Head of the EU Delegation Liaison Office in Erbil stated, “I will do my best to deepen and strengthen the already existing ties between the EU and the Kurdistan Region.”