Outgoing Consul General Joo Joong-Chul met Monday with the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa, as he prepares to depart for his next assignment at the Republic of Korea's embassy in Baghdad.
Minister Mustafa thanked Mr Joong-Chul for his nation's continued support and for his personal contribution during his service in Kurdistan. Citing the deep and long-lasting relationship between the Republic of Korea and the Kurdistan Region, Minister Mustafa highlighted the continued importance of their mutual relations.
"We appreciate the continued work of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and other Korean institutions and businesses, and we must ensure that our relationship is not only focused on politics, but also on working together to enhance and support the substantial commercial and economic ties that have grown between us," Minister Mustafa said.
Consul General Joong-Chul expressed his appreciation for the support of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and said that he was very happy with his time in Kurdistan. "This is a great place to work as a diplomat," he said. He referenced the great progress that has been achieved and said that he will take many great memories with him from his time in the Region.
Consul General Joong-Chul has been in the Korean Foreign Service since 1990, and has served as the Consul General in Erbil for the past year and a half.
The Region's strong relationship with the Republic of Korea began in 2004 when the Korea sent its Zaytun peacekeeping division into the Kurdistan Region to aid in reconstruction and infrastructural development. The Republic of Korea has also provided scholarship programs and vocational training courses, and since 2008, the Korean International Cooperation Agency has been assisting the reconstruction effort through the funding of several major projects. Business partnerships and trade relations have also become quite strong over the years with Korean products and services used in many households across the region.
In addition to his visit to the Department of Foreign Relations today, Consul General Joong-Chul also made farewell visits to the Chief of Staff of the President, the Ministers of the Interior and Culture, and the Governor of Erbil.