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Iraqi Kurdistan Says Deeply Indebted to Iran’s Helps, Vows to Help Tehran under Sanctions

The Iraqi Kurdistan is profoundly indebted to Iran’s help and support throughout the past, a Kurdish official said, adding that Erbil is hopeful to partially make up for Tehran’s helps now that the US has imposed unilateral sanctions against the country.

“The government of the Iraqi Kurdistan region and Halabja are greatly indebted to Iran’s numerous helps,” Governor of Halabja Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan Region Azad Tofiq said at a joint press conference with the Governor General of Iran’s Kermanshah Province Houshang Bazvand in Western Iran on Sunday.

“We hope to return a small part of those aids now that the US has imposed unjust sanctions against Iran,” he added.

The Kudish delegation arrived in Iran’s Kermanshah today, in a bid to promote economic relations and develop border gates with the Islamic Republic.

Developing Poshteh and Shushami gates and opening Sazan border gate are on the agenda of the negotiations between Iranian and Iraqi Kurdish officials, Tofiq said earlier on the day, before arriving in Kermanshah.

The two sides will also try to facilitate Iranian passengers’ commutes from western provinces to Halabja.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with with Head of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani on the sidelines of the 55th Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Zarif reassured Barzani that expanding relations with Erbil, particularly in economic fields, is atop Tehran’s agenda.

Developments of relations with Iraqi Kurdistan region in all fields, in particular, in the economic field are Iran’s policy, Zarif said in the meeting.

The Iranian minister also called for establishment of a joint industrial region between the two sides.

Zarif and Barzani also discussed the latest regional developments, including the situation in Syria.

Commenting on developments in Syria, Zarif urged respecting Syria’s sovereignty.

In a related front, earlier this month, it was announced that a host of knowledge-based construction companies of Iran’s private sector will showcase their capabilities, products, and achievements at the 11th Erbil international building construction exhibition in mid-April 2019.

Iran will set up a pavilion at the 11th Erbil International Building-Construction, Municipality Equipment, Machinery & Natural Stone Exhibition in the Iraqi city.

Dubbed Erbil Building, the event is the most important exhibition of building construction in Iraq, which brings together many participants and visitors from various parts of the world, particularly the neighboring countries.

The exhibition is scheduled for 22 – 25 April 2019.

Also on January 21, officials from Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan region announced that Iran and Iraq will open a new border crossing to further ease the transit of goods, transportation of cargos, and bilateral trade between the two countries.

Officials visited various facilities and commercial complexes on both sides of the border in a bid to increase economic ties.

Deputy Governor-General for Political Affairs of Iran’s Western Province of Kurdistan Hossein Khosheqbal met officials from the Iraqi district of Panjwen.

Panjwen is part of Sulaymaniya, a city in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

They visited the Siran-Band border crossing and market to see for themselves the difficulties in the way of more transport and transit.

Panjwen Mayor Zana Rahman said, “The Iraqi central government has agreed that Siran-Band become an official border crossing.”

He said the groundwork for the crossing’s formal opening has been laid so that passengers can cross the border in the coming weeks.

The Iraqi delegation later visited commercial complexes at Baneh county on the Iranian side of the border.

In a related front on November 20, senior Kurdish officials said the Iraqi Kurdistan Region is resolved to continue business in Iran’s market under any conditions, and said Erbil will help Tehran to pass through the sanctions era.

“The Iraqi Kurdistan will help Iranian people and government under the US sanctions,” Chairman of Iraqi Exporters and Importers Union in Kurdistan Sheikh Mustafa Abdul Rahman said on the sidelines of an exhibition in Alborz province.

The Iraqi Kurdistan official reiterated that Iran has great potentials in the field of manufacturing and industry, and said, “We are very pleased that we live in the vicinity of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Sheikh Abdul Rahman, meantime, welcomed the expansion of economic and trade cooperation with Iran, and said, “There is good cooperation between Iran and Iraq.”

“Due to the high quality of Iranian goods, we welcome the presence of different Iranian products in the markets of Iraqi Kurdistan,” he added.

The Iraqi Kurdistan official noted that in order to expand mutual trade cooperation between Iran and Iraq, the obstacles in the way of monetary and banking relations must be removed.

In relevant remarks a senior official announced in early May that Tehran and Erbil were working closely to conclude strategic agreements in the near future.

“Good economic meeting in Erbil and implementation of agreements will open new chapter in bilateral ties,” Head of Iraqi Kurdistan Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Dara Jalil Khayyat told reporters.

He described the recent economic meeting between Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan region as satisfactory.

Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan Region held a two-day joint economic meeting in Erbil on May 2-3.

Khayyat reiterated that the joint meeting led to signing an important agreement between the two sides.

“Implementation of the agreement will solve many problems created for the businesspersons and border areas,” he added.

Khayyat further said the recent mutual agreement dealt with transportation, economy and tourism.

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