Italian diplomats visited the Kurdistan Region to attend a human rights conference at Lake Dukan and to sign a MOU with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Higher Education.
The Italian ambassador to Iraq, Mr Gerardo Carante, and Minister Plenipotentiary Queirolo Palmas, Coordinator for Gulf Countries for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday completed their three-day visit.
Welcoming the two diplomats to the Region, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, said, "The Kurdistan Regional Government highly values the partnership of the international community in helping to promote and protect human rights in Kurdistan and Iraq, and we appreciate the people and government of Italy in particular for their commitment to this cause."
The diplomats and Minister Mustafa discussed the ongoing strengthening of coordination between their respective governments in a variety of sectors. They highlighted their commitment to increased educational exchange through the new MOU that will allow students from the Kurdistan Region to obtain graduate degrees in Italian universities through the KRG Human Capacity Development Programme.
Both sides also discussed the possibility of formally introducing an Italian language programme into the Region's education system, as well as easing the process of obtaining Italian visas both for students and businessmen.
Minister Mustafa highlighted the dynamic economic growth that Kurdistan continues to witness and encouraged greater participation of Italian businesses in the Region's ongoing development.
The Dukan conference focused on the issue of human trafficking in Iraq and the Middle East, illustrating some of the legal, economic and social factors that contribute to the prevalence of this issue and highlighting some measures that can be taken to help prevent and reduce its occurrence.
The diplomats were attended by the Head of the Italian Consular Office in Erbil, Dr Simone De Santi, and they also met with the KRG Minister of Natural Resources Dr Ashti Hawrami, the Minister of Higher Education Dr Ali Saeed, and other KRG officials and representatives while they were in the Region.