Department of Foreign Relations
Kurdistan Regional Government
MON, 23 SEP 2019 10:19 Erbil, GMT +3
Source: KRG.org DFR publication date: WED, 16 MAR 2011 18:46
Bulgaria Foreign Minister on visit to Erbil plans to open consulate
Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) – The Head of the Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir yesterday in Erbil met Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov and his accompanying delegation. Mr Mladenov said that Bulgaria plans to open a consulate in the Kurdistan Region and to re-open its embassy in Baghdad.

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister said that he was delighted to visit the Kurdistan Region as part of his trip to Iraq, and highlighted the importance of strengthening relations between the region and his country.

“Bulgaria is a neighbour of Iraq, and very nearly a direct neighbour of the Kurdistan Region,” he said. “The aim of this visit is to strengthen bilateral relations and raise the prospects of cooperation between Bulgaria, the Kurdistan Region, and the rest of Iraq.”

Minister Bakir thanked Minister Mladenov and welcomed Bulgaria’s steps towards to improving relations. He outlined the advantages of opening a Bulgarian consulate in the region and assured the delegation of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) readiness to work with and support the new consulate. He stated the KRG’s openness to interacting with the outside world, and briefed the visiting Minister on the history of the Kurdistan Region and the efforts it has made to build a democratic society since the uprising of 1991.

The ministers discussed the current political situation in Iraq as a whole and in the Kurdistan Region. They also exchanged views on how to best promote common ties, such as holding an economic and business forum in the region to pave the way for entrepreneurship and commerce, exchange programs between universities and cultural centres, and relations between chambers of commerce.

The meeting was also attended by Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Iraq Valeri Ratchev, the Head of Europe Department in Iraq’s Foreign Ministry Ambassador Ahmad Bamarni, as well as several Bulgarian officials.

In similar meetings with President Masoud Barzani and Prime Minister Barham Salih, Minister Mladenov spoke of helping the region in the areas of education, agriculture and electricity. “Bulgaria has a surplus of electricity,” he said, “so we will try to work out a way that we can help supply some of Iraq’s needs.”

Minister Mladenov and President Barzani discussed the local and regional political situation, and in his meeting with Prime Minister Barham Salih, Mr Mladenov agreed to set up a business forum in Erbil as well as a university exchange programme with regional universities.

The Foreign Minister departed the region stating that he anticipated returning very soon with a larger Bulgarian representation.



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