Chancellor Barzani receives Head of EU Mission to Iraq

Chancellor Barzani and Ambassador Patrick Simonnett

The Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council, Masrour Barzani, received the new Head of EU Delegation to Iraq, Ambassador Patrick Simonnett to discuss his new mission and recent political developments.

Ambassador Simonnett is visiting the Kurdistan Region following his appointment to Iraq in January. He’s holding talks with senior officials to explore how the European Union can increase its engagement in Iraq.

On plans for an upcoming referendum, Chancellor Barzani said: ‘The consequences of a failed political system in Iraq are an economic collapse; social unrest and Islamic State terrorists exploiting a security vacuum.’

Both officials discussed potential mechanisms to resolve differences between Erbil and Baghdad and negotiations with the international community, including neighbouring countries, about the referendum.

‘Kurdish unity is the key to achieving our goals. It remains our biggest weakness, but this referendum can be the basis for unity’ he added.

The meeting also touched the growing economic crisis. Chancellor Barzani called for quick measures to alleviate immediate pressure, including more financial aid to the region for the refugees seeking food and shelter and to ensure Peshmerga continue to hold front line positions against the Islamic State.