Barzani discussed bilateral ties and the situation in Iraq and Syria with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Photo: krp.org
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani exchanged views with oil company executives, foreign ministers and other top officials at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which he attended last week for a second year.
On the sidelines of the forum, Barzani and his delegation met separately with Exxon Mobil Chairman Rex Tillerson and Jay Pryor, vice president of Chevron.
Barzani thanked both officials for the work being done by their companies in Kurdistan, and stressed that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stood behind them.
Barzani also discussed bilateral ties and the situation in Iraq and Syria with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who said that before coming to Davos he had urged Swedish companies to look into investing and sending trade delegations to Kurdistan.
|In his meeting with Barzani, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu emphasized the need for continuing talks between both parties over controversial oil exports that Baghdad has been trying its best to block.
Davutoglu also told Barzani he was happy that Kurdish representatives were part of the Syrian opposition delegation at the Geneva II conference. The two leaders also spoke about the upcoming Iraqi polls in April and the other Middle Eastern issues.
The political situation in Egypt and Iraq were the focus of discussions between Barzani and Amr Moussa, former secretary general of the Arab League.
In talks with US Senator John McCain, Barzani discussed bilateral ties as well as the security situation in Iraq, especially in Anbar province.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and his accompanying delegation, which included the foreign and economy ministers, agreed on sending a delegation to Kurdistan to explore how to expand ties with Kurdistan.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Barzani he was pleased with the substantial progress in ties since their meeting last year at Davos, and hoped the ties would improve even more.
Rutte praised the KRG for hosting such a large number of refugees, which have come to Kurdistan from Syria and other parts of Iraq, and said his government understands the burden this places on Erbil.
“We now have about 250,000 Syrian refugees, mostly Kurds, in Kurdistan,” Barzani told Rutte. “For us, it’s both a humanitarian and national obligation to look after them,” he said, adding that he hoped “the international community will be more forthcoming in providing aid to the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan.”