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France to open embassy office in Erbil

SUN, 8 APR 2007 17:54 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (KRG.org) - Jean-François Girault, France’s ambassador to Iraq, last week during his visit to the Kurdistan Region said that his country hopes to open an embassy office in Erbil.

Ambassador Girault said he looked forward to taking the first steps towards opening a French embassy office in the near future in Erbil, the Region’s capital, and reiterated France’s support for Kurdistan.

Minister Falah Mustafa, director of the Kurdistan Regional Government Office of Foreign Relations, said, “The KRG welcomes the opening of a French embassy office and we offer our full support and cooperation in making it happen. The embassy office will enhance cultural, economic and business relations. It will also be another step towards building stronger ties with EU countries.”

Minister Falah Mustafa and Ambassador Girault discussed the long history of relations between Kurdistan and France. They also talked about security issues in Iraq and the internally displaced persons fleeing to Kurdistan to escape violence. The ambassador and his delegation visited the Christian community, and shared the KRG’s concerns about political and religious tolerance throughout Iraq.

The minister said, “We had constructive talks about strengthening relations between France and the Kurdistan Region within the framework of the federal and democratic Iraq.”

The French ambassador commended the political stability and security situation he witnessed. He discussed with KRG officials the possibility of increasing participation by French companies in the reconstruction of Kurdistan, as well as enhanced cultural relations and education links.

Ambassador Girault met President Masoud Barzani, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, and Adnan Mufti, Speaker of the Kurdistan National Assembly. He also met several KRG ministers, the chairman of the investment board, and academics at the French language department of Salahaddin University. He visited the ancient citadel, Sami Abdul Rahman park, the resort town of Shaqlawa, and nearby tourist sites.

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