Wednesday, 27 June 2012, 07:43 GMT
Kurdistan and France strive to strengthen ties

People gather in front of the French Cultural Institute building in Erbil, July 14, 2010./GLOBE PHOTO/Safin Hamid

The Kurdish Globe

France grants visas to Kurdish nationals

At a recent conference, the Director of the Kurdistan Region's Council of Ministers Nechirvan Ahmed welcomed the French Ambassador to Iraq, Denys Gauer, and the French Consul General in Erbil, Dr. Frederick Tissot.

At the beginning of the meeting Ahmed expressed his gratitude towards Gauer and Tissot for their visit and highlighted the importance of the relationships between the Kurdistan Region and France.

Ahmed talked about the vital role of France in supporting the Kurdish nation at the beginning of the 1991 revolution and in its efforts in the decree of resolution number 688 of the United Nations Security Council and the subsequent no-flight zone, which sheltered the Kurdistan Region from attacks and bombardments of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The KRG official stated that his government attaches a high level of significance to its relations with European countries, especially France and is willing to expand its relations in all aspects, with both parties help in achieving this goal.

"That is why KRG is determined to provide any kind of assistance and facilitation for the strengthening of bilateral ties including economic, trade, educational, agricultural, tourist and cultural aspects," said Ahmed during the meeting.

Ambassador Gauer expressed his happiness about the improvements in the relations between the KRG and his government and the inflow of French businessmen and investors into the Kurdistan Region markets for investment in various sectors, especially where the region needs further investment, in order to have the most effective participation in the development process of Kurdistan.

Another issue discussed between the French and Kurdish officials in the meeting was that the French Consulate General in Erbil is currently preparing itself to be able to issue visas directly in Erbil for businessmen and people of the region, as another step towards improving relations between the two governments and their people.

The French Ambassador stated that this will facilitate the travel of those Kurdish citizens who want to travel to France and other European countries for business or other purposes.

At the end of the meeting, the two parties signed an agreement according to which the KRG will construct a building for the French Cultural Institute in the Regional Capital of Erbil. This project is implemented under the direct auspices of the Region's Prime Minster Nechirvan Barzani.