The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met with future Dutch Consul General Willem Cosijn this week. The two political figureheads discussed the future of their nations’ relationship; they also focused heavily on improving the region’s agricultural sector according to Kurdish media outlets. Barzani had previously met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in June at the Hague where the two discussed national conditions.

Prime Minister Barzani’s office released the statement that,

Prime Minister Barzani congratulated Consul General Cosijn on his new position and wished him success in his duties, assuring him of his government’s support during his mission. Consul General Cosijn stressed his country’s willingness to strengthen the relations with the Kurdistan Region … [and Barzani] thanked the Dutch government for its humanitarian and military assistance to the Kurdistan Region, particularly in the field of the reform of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs.”

Consul General Willem Cosijn is replacing the currently serving Janet Alberda. Cojisn claims that Iraq and its inherent Kurdish territory is the Netherlands’ “priority country” for 2018 and intends to focus on “ways to further improve bilateral ties.” In July 2018, Cosijn and a delegation of officials from the Netherlands’ departments of defense and foreign affairs visited Iraqi-Kurdistan to review Dutch military forces as well as meet with high-ranking officials within the Kurdish Peshmerga to discuss future collaborations.

The United States led anti-Islamic State coalition has many international partners, and the Netherlands is one of them. The coalition has spent a great deal of time and energy in the Kurdistan region, and the Netherlands is no exception here either. The Dutch ally has invested a lot of resources into training, advising, and assisting the Peshmerga during their time combating the Islamic State. The Dutch have also contributed a great deal to humanitarian aid projects as well as programs to improve the autonomous region’s infrastructure.

Featured image courtesy of Warrane College, via Facebook.

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