KRG PM discusses formation of new cabinet with Dutch FM

Dutch foreign minister visits Kurdistan Region
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok (L) speaks in a press conference alongside Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil, December 18, 2018.

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SULAIMANI — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok in Erbil on Tuesday (December 18).

Blok arrived at Erbil International Airport on Monday night.

Barzani said they discussed relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the Iraqi political process, and the formation of a new KRG cabinet during their meeting.

“We also stressed the importance of further improving bilateral relations [between the Kurdistan Region and the Netherlands] at all levels especially in economy, trade, and education,” he added during a press conference with Blok.

The Dutch foreign minister, for his part, said that they had a “fruitful discussion about cooperating on the issue of migration from the Region to Europe.

He praised the “strong ties” between the Netherlands and the Kurdistan Region, adding that his government looked forward to strengthening its relationship with all parts of Iraq.

“Iraq is a focus country for our foreign policy and we are looking forward to increasing our bilateral cooperation in the fields of security, migration, economy, and human rights.

The Netherlands will also continue training the Kurdish security forces at the Kurdistan Training Coordinating Center in Erbil, by providing military and civilian advisers, Blok said.

He also hoped to see the formation of an inclusive Kurdish government that would continue its reform program during the next four years.

“We hope to see a fruitful collaboration between the governments in Baghdad and Erbil as soon as both governments are formed,” he said.

Blok's compatriot Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert took over as the new Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General on Monday.

(NRT Digital Media)