Nechirvan Barzani To Arrive In South Korea

Wext: Thursday, 12.August. @ 00:00:00 CEST


By Ryu Jin
11 / 08 / 2004 —
Top officials of Kurdistan regional government, led by its prime minister, will arrive in Seoul Wednesday as part of a program to promote friendly relations among Iraqi officials toward South Korea on the occasion of Seoul”'s troop dispatch to Iraq.

The Defense Ministry said Tuesday that Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani will visit Seoul July 11-14 to have a series of meetings with high-level South Korean officials including Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan, Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Ban Ki-moon and Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung.

South Korean officials will discuss the nation's additional troop deployment in Iraq with the Kurdish delegation, while seeking support from the Iraqi officials, Defense Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Nam Dae-youn said in a press briefing.

Minister Yoon will have a luncheon meeting with the visiting Iraqi officials on Thursday, with the top commander and other key staff officers of the Iraq-bound Zayitun Unit in attendance.

Prime Minister Barzani is also scheduled to visit some industrial and cultural facilities here, while meeting with related ministers and vice ministers, according to Seoul officials.

The eight-member delegation's four-day trip is part of a program organized by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), under the wing of the Foreign Ministry, to increase pro-South Korean sentiment among Iraqi officials.

Having kept several hundreds of medics and engineers in Nasiriyah in southern Iraqi since last year, Seoul plans to increase its troops in the war-torn country to 3,600 by sending about 3,000 more soldiers to the Kurdish-controlled northern Iraqi town of Irbil in the coming months for rehabilitation works.

The deployment of the Zayitun Unit has been carried out in a secretive way for security reasons in recent weeks as terrorist groups threatened to attack South Koreans if Seoul pushed ahead with its plan.

Barzani has recently expressed his willingness to provide active support if South Korea dispatches troops to the region.

Source: Korea Times

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