ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the capital Athens on Friday, in discussions focused on strengthening bilateral ties between the European nation and the autonomous region.
Barzani and a Kurdistan Regional Government delegation Mitsotakis to discuss developing bilateral ties, the premier’s office said. They also discussed the latest developments in Iraq and the Middle East, as well as the threat of terrorism and combatting ISIS.
Additionally, Barzani stressed the friendly and historic relations between the Kurdistan Region and Greece, and expressed Erbil’s willingness to further develop ties, especially in investment and trade exchange.
He said he hoped Mitsotakis would soon visit the Kurdistan Region.
Mitsotakis expressed his delight at the KRG delegation’s visit, describing it as “historical,” Barzani’s office said. It was the first time a Kurdish prime minister had visited Greece, he noted.
Greece is willing to develop ties with the Kurdistan Region, Mitsotakis said, adding that a Greek governmental delegation and investment authorities will visit the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in the future.
The meeting comes as part of the premier’s trip to Europe, starting with an official visit to Belgium on Wednesday and Thursday.
Greece-Kurdistan Region Relations
Greece’s new Consul-General, Stavros Kyrimis, met with the premier in the Kurdish capital in April. Athens upgraded its diplomatic relations with the Kurdistan Region in 2018 with the inauguration of the new representative office in Erbil as the Greek government said it wanted to strengthen bilateral ties with the autonomous region.
Greek Ambassador to Iraq Leonidas Kontovounesios previously said Greece was eager to develop tieswith the Kurdistan Region in the agricultural and tourism sectors.
As of 2017, Greece’s investment in the Kurdistan Region was about €2 billion. The Greek government has supported the KRG with humanitarian aid, as well as the Peshmerga in the fight against ISIS with arms and ammunition.