The Kurdistan Regional Government Department of Foreign Relations
The KRG established the Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) in September 2006 to conduct relations with the international community. Today, the DFR is an integral part of the government, with a wide ranging portfolio of responsibilities. The KRG also has several representative offices worldwide.
The KRG Department of Foreign Relations is mandated to promote the interests of the Kurdistan Region and its people in regard to relations with the international community and in accordance with the Region’s legislation and the Constitution of the Republic of Iraq.
The key responsibilities of the department include:
- Strengthening bilateral relations with the international community
- Promoting trade, investment, tourism and institutional ties
- Supervising the KRG’s offices overseas
- Liaising with the diplomatic community in the Kurdistan region
- Organising the visits of political and economic delegations to the Kurdistan Region
- Coordinating and organising KRG relations with the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Iraqi embassies abroad
- Conducting and supporting activities that enhance the image of the Kurdistan region
- Communicating between official KRG institutions and the international community
- Providing legal and authentication services to the people of the region and its citizens abroad
The key objectives of the department are:
- Promoting and protecting the interests of the Kurdistan Region and its citizens abroad
- Encouraging meaningful political and economic relations with the international community, especially with neighbouring countries, in the interest of promoting peace, stability and economic development
- Providing efficient and effective consular and legal services to the people of the Region
The DFR provides assistance for the KRG ministries and other officials in the region regarding efforts involving the international community, and it also works closely with the business community, representatives of civil society, and with many academic institutions both in the Region and abroad.
The DFR is organised and operates in accordance with KRG’s Executive Order no. 143.
KRG coordinated activities outside of the Kurdistan Region are conducted through its 14 representative offices worldwide, which can be found by clicking here.
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir was appointed as the first Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations in September 2006, tasked with administering KRG foreign policy and bolstering the Region’s relations with the international community for the government’s fifth cabinet.
He was reappointed as the Head of the Department in each successive cabinet, including most recently the eighth cabinet in June 2014.
Minister Bakir’s vision, dedication, and passion to serve the people and the government of Kurdistan have paved the way for a successful Department and rapidly expanding relations between the KRG and foreign governments.
The Minister previously served as the KRG’s liaison officer to the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 and to the Multi-National Forces’ Korean Contingent stationed in Erbil in 2004. He was a Senior Adviser to the KRG Prime Ministerfrom 2002 until 2004, when he was appointed Minister of State.
Earlier in his career, Minister Bakir was the KRG Deputy Minister of Agriculture & Irrigation, from 1999 to 2002. Prior to that, heserved as the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Public Relations Officer from 1996 to 1999. Minister Bakir joined the KDP’s International Relations/Public Relations office in 1991.
The Minister regularly represents Kurdistan at regional and international events and conferences, and actively promotes political and economic ties with diplomats and businesspeople around the world.
At the same time, Minister Bakir promotes and encourages cultural and educational exchange programmes, scholarships, and capacity-building programmes designed to benefit Kurdistan’s youth. He regularly provides insight and analysis about the Kurdistan Region and its policies to journalists, researchers, think tanks, and postgraduate students.
Minister Bakir obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Mosul, his graduate degree in Development Studies at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and a senior manager’s executive programme certificate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
He is fully fluent in Kurdish, English, and Arabic, and lives with his wife and their four children in Erbil. Minister Bakir enjoys Kurdish music and fine art.