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Prime Minister Salih receives Turkey’s first Consul General in Erbil

WED, 17 MAR 2010 13:52 | KRG Cabinet

Prime Minister Barham Salih on Saturday received Mr Mehmet Aydin Selcen, Turkey’s first Consul General in Erbil. Prime Minister Salih welcomed Mr Selcen and said he hoped that the forthcoming opening of the Turkish Consulate in Erbil would lead to stronger relations between the Kurdish Region and Turkey in all areas, especially in trade and investment.

Turkey is due to open a consulate office in Erbil this month. The historic decision came following a visit by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Erbil in October 2009. Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, the Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Foreign Relations, also attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Salih spoke about the importance of the Kurdistan Region’s prevailing security and stability for trade and investment, and the open and foreign-investor friendly Investment Law. He welcomed more Turkish companies, which already have a strong presence, to take part in the reconstruction and development process in the Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq.

The Turkish Consul General expressed his appreciation for the warm reception and said, “New Turkish companies are coming to the Kurdistan Region and we will encourage more to come in the future.”

Mr Selcen was also received by President Barzani at the his office in Salahaddin. The President commended Turkey’s decision to open a Consulate in the Kurdistan Region and described it as a “courageous step.” President Barzani said that with goodwill and close cooperation, both countries would benefit from political, commercial and cultural cooperation.

Mr Selcen said that the opening of this office in Erbil shows the importance his country attaches to the Region. He said, “This step is part of a strategic and long-term policy to establish good relations.”

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