President Barzani Meets Dutch Prime Minister in Davos | |

Davos, Switzerland ( – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani arrived in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday to participate in the annual World Economic Forum.

In his first engagement at the Forum, the President met with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Dutch Prime Minister said he is pleased that there has been a lot of progress since their meeting last year in Davos, and hoped that these ties can further go forward between the two sides.

President Barzani concurred with Prime Minister Rutte about the progress in relations and also expressed KRG readiness to further enhance bilateral ties, adding that the visit by the Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmerman to Erbil in September 2013 was a clear sign of the progress in bilateral ties.

The two also discussed the plight of the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary elections in April, the current security situation in Anbar province and the threat of terrorism.

Prime Minister Rutte praised the KRG for hosting such a large number of refugees and said they realize this put a great burden on the KRG resources.

“We now have about 250,000 Syrian refugees, mostly Kurds, in Kurdistan. For us, it’s both a humanitarian and national obligation to look after them. I hope the international community will be more forthcoming in providing aid to the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan,” said the President.

On relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the President said that there is no dialogue between the two sides, and expressed his hope that all the outstanding issues between the two can be resolved through these talks and within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution.