Tag Archives: Kurdistan

New United States consulate will be built in Erbil, Kurdistan

Diplomatic Security Sit-Rep 04/25/2018

Douglas Silliman, the United States ambassador to Iraq, has announced that the U.S. will be constructing a new consulate structure in Erbil, Kurdistan. The announcement was made alongside Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani who expressed his vehement support of the expansion. The United States presently has an existing consulate compound within the city of Erbil but is seeking to expand as it furthers its relationship with the Kurdish regional Government.

In a public statement, Ambassador Silliman said, “The ties between the people of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the United States of America have endured for decades. The new consulate building demonstrates that the United States will stand with the people of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, as they build a future that will be brighter than the past.” He added that, “The United States wants to work with the KRG, but more importantly with Kurdish businessmen and businesswomen to help attract new projects to come here to Kurdistan. I believe the Iraqi Kurdistan Region will be an important point of entry for foreign investment because this region has a very positive history of doing business.” He concluded with, “I’m very happy that we’ll have a beautiful new compound in the shadow of the mountains here on the north side of Erbil.”

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani added that the new consulate was going to be a symbol of more than just a relationship between the United States and Kurdistan. Barzani said, “I thank and congratulate them for this decision. We see it as a significant and valuable step, and hope that it will be finished successfully at its scheduled time. Construction of the American Consulate General complex in Erbil … is a sign of trust by America in currently and bright future for Kurdistan.” He continued with, “We want to have strong relations with America regarding politics, economy, business, science, culture and all other fields, based on mutual interests.” He also pointed out that the new consulate building would serve to progress the relationship between Kurdistan and the U.S., “in the framework of the diplomatic relations it has with Iraqi federal government.” Barzani concluded by expressing his hope that other nations would setup diplomatic outposts in Kurdistan in the future.

The United States’s new consulate will be built at a cost of nearly $600 million while covering 200,000 square meters. Currently, the U.S. rents buildings located in the Anakara district of Erbil from local business owners which it uses as a temporary consulate. The current consulate was upgraded from a diplomatic office in 2011 but was the target of an Islamic State suicide bomb attack in 2015. The new building will be constructed by EYP out of Albany, New York.

Featured Image Courtesy of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Erbil Officials Condemn Protester Attack on Iranian Consulate

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Interior Ministry in Erbil has condemned an attack on the Iranian consulate by protesters on Friday, threatening to bring charges against the attackers. “We condemn this riot and state that those involved in the attack will face charges,” said the ministry in a statement.

On Friday a number of Iranian Kurds living in the Kurdistan Region and members of Iranian Kurdish parties gathered in Erbil’s Shanidar Park to protest against the execution of Kurdish political prisoners in Iran.  “We are gathered here against the execution of Kurdish youth in Iran,” one of the protesters told Rudaw. “And we urge all political parties in the Kurdistan Region not to remain silent about the hangings of our young men.”  Later on some of the protesters who chanted anti-Iran slogans marched toward the Iranian consulate and attacked the compound by throwing rocks and trying to enter the building. 

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of the Interior, Karim Sinjari, said that the protesters had misused their permission for a peaceful gathering in the park. “Such actions are not compatible with the KRG policy,” said Sinjari in a meeting with Iran’s consul general in Erbil, Seyid Azim Hosseini. Riot police and security forces intervened to stop the protesters from entering the Iranian consulate, and according to an official source, several people have been arrested, including two members of the Kurdish Komala Party, as organizers of the rally. 

The execution of three Kurdish prisoners by the Iranian judicial authorities in the last two weeks has triggered angry demonstrations in Kurdish cities across the region. “The Islamic Republic cannot defeat the Kurdish people with such actions,” said an elderly woman outside Shanidar Park. Iran hanged Habibollah Golparipour, Reza Ismaili and Sherko Ma’arifi for alleged membership in the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) despite calls from Kurdish political parties and human rights organizations, including Amnesty International not to uphold the sentences.

In another protest earlier this month, the Land Protection Youth Organization held a gathering outside the Iranian Consulate in Erbil, to condemn the hanging of Golparipour. “The Kurdish people should be united against this aggression and the execution of the Kurds will only make us persist more for our rights,” the youth group said in a statement. Human rights activists in Iran say that currently 50 Kurdish political prisoners are at risk of execution in Iranian jails.

On Friday a number of Iranian Kurds living in the Kurdistan Region and members of Iranian Kurdish parties gathered in Erbil’s Shanidar Park to protest against the execution of Kurdish political prisoners in Iran.
On Friday a number of Iranian Kurds living in the Kurdistan Region and members of Iranian Kurdish parties gathered in Erbil’s Shanidar Park to protest against the execution of Kurdish political prisoners in Iran.

– See more at: http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/10112013#sthash.K7s73bsr.dpuf