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Zagreb witnesses a series of cultural and political events on Kurdistan Region

TUE, 28 JUL 2015 17:30 | KRG Cabinet

Zagreb, Croatia (dfr.gov.krd/cabinet.gov.krd) - The Croatian capital, Zagreb, last week witnessed a series of cultural events on Kurdistan Region and political meetings between Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG, and Croatian senior officials.

A delegation from KRG Department of Foreign Relations, headed by Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the Department, took part at the 49th International Folklore Festival, which took place in Zagreb between 15 and 19 July 2015. At the sideline of the Zagreb Folklore Festival, the Kurdish-Croatian cultural week was held.

On Sunday, 19 July 2015, Minister Mustafa attended the final ceremony of Zagreb International Festival where the Kurdistan national team for traditional art performed Kurdish folklore dance.

Commenting on the importance of the Kurdish-Croatian cultural week, Mr. Mustafa stressed that “The event provided a good opportunity for participants to experience authentic culture and heritage of Kurdistan. Such events can further promote cultural exchanges and enhance mutual understanding between the people of Kurdistan and the people of Croatia.”

The following day, Mr. Mustafa participated in a seminar and photo exhibition on Anfal at the Croatian National Archive. He said, “Every civilisation, every culture, every people has a defining time in their history. For the Kurds of Iraq, that time was the Anfal.  It was the time when we faced death at hands of a determined enemy inside our own country, but survived to prosper.”

During his visit to Croatia, Minister Falah Mustafa also held meetings with senior officials including the President of the Republic of Croatia, Ms Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

At the meeting with Croatian President, Mr. Mustafa discussed bilateral ties between Kurdistan Region and Croatia as well as the current situation in the region.

They discussed the military and humanitarian difficulties facing the Kurdistan Region and stressed the necessity of regional and international cooperation to eradicate international terrorism and to restore stability in the Middle East.

Mr. Mustafa expressed his gratitude for Croatia’s contribution to the Counter-ISIS Coalition and noted that Peshmerga forces are still in need of weapons, ammunition and military training.

The Minister also referred to the challenges facing KRG in caring for close to 1.8 million refugees and internally displaced people, IDPs, and called for further international support.

President Kitarović stated that Croatia understands the difficulties facing the Kurdistan Region and reiterated Croatia’s commitment to continue supporting Kurdistan Region in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS.

KRG Head of Foreign Relations was also received by Chief of staff of the President of Republic of Croatia, defence and national security and foreign policy advisors to the President.

Mr. Domagoj Juricic, Chief of staff to the Croatian president, commended the role of Peshmerga forces in stopping the advance of ISIS and valued the KRG’s humanitarian response to the influx of refugees and IDPs to the Kurdistan Region.

He said, “We consider the Kurdistan Region as a partner, we are determined to further broaden our ties and to continue our cooperation in various fields.”

In his meeting with Mr. Mustafa, Mr. Dario Mibelin, foreign policy advisor to the President of Croatia said, “We appreciate the efforts of President Masoud Barzani in leading the Kurdistan Region in the fight against ISIS terrorists. Kurdistan Region has been an island of stability, religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence and prosperity.”

Mr. Josip Buljevic, defence and national security advisor to the president stressed that, “Religious extremism is an international phenomenon; therefore the international community has a shared responsibility to fight international terrorist groups. Croatia, as a member of the Counter ISIS Coalition is committed to continue supporting the Kurdistan Region in this fight.”