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Prime Minister Masrour Barzani receives call from Vice President of the European Commission

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Prime Minister Masrour Barzani spoke by phone tonight with Vice President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas to exchange views on the migrant situation on the border between Poland and Belarus.

Prime Minister Barzani urged Commissioner Schinas to mobilize the full support of the European Union to secure immediate humanitarian relief to the stranded families. In their exchange, both agreed that international smuggling networks have used the migrants for political purposes. The Prime Minister noted that in recent days over 400 citizens had voluntarily returned home, adding that more were expected to arrive soon.

During the call, Prime Minister Barzani called for long-term strategic cooperation between the Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the European Union to reduce illegal migration. In that regard, he urged Commissioner Schinas to help increase trade and investment with Europe and technical and financial assistance for the KRG’s reform agenda. They agreed that doing so would help create more jobs for locals. The Prime Minister also requested more aid for the nearly 1 million displaced persons in the Kurdistan Region.

Both leaders reviewed steps taken by the KRG and the federal government in Baghdad. The Prime Minister welcomed a visit by a technical team from Brussels to Erbil and Baghdad to consider more joint measures.

They agreed to continue working together and to stay in close contact about this shared concern.