President Nechirvan Barzani received the Austrian Foreign Minister, Mr. Alexander Schallenberg, and his accompanying delegation on September 13.
The President and Foreign Minister Schallenberg discussed Austria’s relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, Erbil-Baghdad relations and illegal immigration to Europe at their meeting, which was also attended by the Kurdistan Region Vice Presidents, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Region and the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Austria.
The President referred to the long-standing relationship between the two countries and praised Austria’s support for the Kurdistan Region as well as the continued direct flights between Vienna and Erbil. He congratulated Foreign Minister Schallenberg for reopening the Austrian Embassy in Baghdad and called for the establishment of an Austrian representative office in the Kurdistan Region.
The Austrian Foreign Minister stated that his country places a high value on its relationship with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, and plan to establish a representative in Kurdistan. Mr. Schallenberg also stated that the Austrian private sector wishes to invest in Kurdistan Region. The two sides affirmed that stable political and security environments are essential to attract foreign investments and to promote economic growth. The two sides also discussed the importance of comprehensive cooperation between European countries and other countries in the region in order to combat illegal immigration.
In response to the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, President Nechirvan Barzani emphasized that the issues must be resolved in accordance with the constitution, as well as the federal system of government must be fully established in a constructive manner based on mutual understanding in order to resolve and overcome the disputes. In addition, the President emphasized the importance of good friendly relations with neighboring countries and the protection of mutual interests.