November 23, 2015

Head of Foreign Relations and US Representative attend Halifax International Security Forum

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada ( – The Head of the Department of Foreign Relations and the KRG Representative to the United States took part in the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada this weekend where they met with Canada’s Defence Minister as well as officials of other counter-ISIS countries.IMG-20151121-WA0011-2 (1)

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the DFR, and Kurdistan Regional Government Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman attended the three-day annual event where officials, diplomats, military leaders, and civil society groups met to discuss global security issues.

Minister Mustafa thanked Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan for the assistance that Canada has provided the peshmerga in the fight against ISIS. He asked that Canada increase its humanitarian assistance to the 1.8m Syrian refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) from Iraq who face a harsh winter and diminishing services as the United Nations struggles to raise funds.

Minister Mustafa also met with , Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert Netherlands’ Defence Minister. They discussed the latest developments in the fight against ISIS, including the liberation of Sinjar in which her country’s air force played a role.

He also met Mimi Kodheli, Albania’s Minister of Defence and thanked her country for assisting the peshmerga.

During the three-day conference, which was attended by 300 people from about 60 countries, the Minister also met with Niels Annen, a member of the German parliament, whose country is assisting the peshmerga as well as providing help to some of the Yezidi girls who were enslaved by ISIS.

During the conference, Minister Mustafa spoke at a panel that focused on the financing of terrorism. He said that ISIS raises funds through oil sales, kidnapping, extortion and donations from people of falsely believe they are donating to charities. He highlighted the need for international cooperation to cut off funding to terrorists and called again on the international community to help the Yezidis and other displaced people.

The conference also heard from Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff Jon Vance, General John Allen, the recently-retired US Special Presidential Envoy to the Coalition to Counter ISIS, as well as ministers, ambassadors and media representatives of several countries, including several US senators and former Canadian Justice Minister Peter McCay.

On leaving Halifax, Minister Mustafa and Ms Abdul Rahman embarked on an official visit to Canada.

Read this at the Department of Foreign Relations website.

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