MESOP – 14.8.2013 – Germany’s Ambassador to Iraq, Ms Brita Wagener, met with the KRG’s Head of Foreign Relations, Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, to discuss the Syrian refugees in Kurdistan as well as ways of strengthening relations between the Kurdistan Region and Germany.

Ambassador Wagener said that the German Government has pledged to donate an additional 15 million Euros for Syrian refugees, via UNICEF and the World Food Programme, with a significant amount of that earmarked for the refugees based in the Kurdistan Region.

Minister Bakir welcomed the German government’s commitment, hoping that it would encourage other countries to assist the Syrian refugees who have fled to the Kurdistan Region. He said, “The Kurdistan Regional Government is working hard on establishing other camps, one in Erbil and one in Slemani.”

Ambassador Wagener briefed Minister Bakir about the recent visit to Kurdistan by the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr Dirk Niebel. She said, “The Minister was happy and satisfied with his visit as he managed to get the information he was looking for and visited here to assess the needs and situation of the Syrian refugees.”

Minister Mustafa said that during the Kurdish people’s difficult history, hundreds of thousands had been forced to become refugees, which gave them sympathy for the plight of the Kurdish refugees from Syria. “In addition to the refugees facing social and economic problems, they also have educational, medical and health needs,” he said.

Their discussions included the relations between Germany and the Kurdistan Region, the activities of the German Consulate General, the current political situation in Iraq, relations between Erbil and Baghdad, and the latest developments in Syria particularly regarding Syria’s Kurds. The meeting was also attended by the Regional Director for the Near & Middle East & the Maghreb at the German Federal Foreign Office, Ambassador Boris Ruge, the Assistant Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Ms Siham Mamand and Ms Inge Beggel, the German Deputy Consul General in the Region.