Monday 20 February 2023

KRG Representative visits Canada to meet with government officials and lawmakers

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ( – Kurdistan Regional Government  Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman visited the Canadian capital, Ottawa, on February 15-17, where she met with Canadian government officials, members of parliament, including the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds, the Iraqi Embassy, and members of the Kurdish community.

The discussions during Ms. Abdul Rahman's visit were wide-ranging and productive. They provided an opportunity to enhance understanding and cooperation between Canada and the Kurdistan Region, with both sides reiterating their commitment to the partnership between Canada, Kurdistan, and Iraq. 

Ms. Abdul Rahman met with Jess Dutton, Director General at the Middle East Bureau at Canada Global Affairs Ministry. They discussed a wide range of issues, including the need to remain vigilant against ISIS, political and humanitarian issues, and the potential to expand trade ties. 

At the Canadian Department of National Defense, Ms. Abdul Rahman met with Major General Greg Smith, Director General for International Security Policy to discuss the security and political process in Kurdistan and Iraq. She thanked Canada for its role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS  and its ongoing engagement today.

Ms. Abdul Rahman also expressed her gratitude to the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds, including the group’s Chairman Tom Kmiec, and members Ziad Aboultaif, Cathay Wagantall, and Pat Kelly, along with their staff, for their interest in Kurdistan-Canada relations. They discussed humanitarian issues, the dangerous legacy of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and concerns that have been raised by the Kurdish diaspora in Canada.

Ms. Abdul Rahman also had a productive and informative meeting with Melissa Lantsman, Deputy Leader of the Canadian Conservative Party, where they discussed humanitarian and economic issues in Kurdistan, relations with Canada, and concerns of the Kurdish diaspora.

Separately, the KRG Representative had valuable discussions with Canadian MPs John McKay, Chairman of the  Standing Committee on National Defense, Brad Redekopp, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Immigration, and  Fayçal El-Khoury, member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. These separate discussions covered a wide range of topics, including geopolitical challenges and opportunities in the Middle East, Iraq, and Kurdistan, and issues that have been raised by the Kurdish-Canadian community Mr. El-Khoury is the latest addition to the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds group.

At the conclusion of her visit, Ms. Abdul Rahman visited the Iraqi Embassy in Ottawa and thanked the Charge D’Affaires Ahmed Al-Janabi and the team for serving all Iraqi communities in Canada. The KRG Representative also met with the leaders of the Kurdistani community in the greater Ottawa and Toronto region where she provided updates and heard their concerns and challenges in their respective communities. Ms. Abdul Rahman told the gathering, ‘We are proud of the Kurdistani community in Canada for having engaged in your civic duty as Canadian citizens as well as having maintained your ties with your Kurdish heritage.’