Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (DFR.krg.org) – The newly appointed Philippines Charge d’Affaires to Iraq, Mr Marlowe A. Miranda, Saturday met with Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, to discuss the reopening of their embassy in Baghdad and a potential presence in Erbil.
In his first visit to the Kurdistan Region, Chargé Miranda, who heads the Philippines’ new embassy, said he was very pleased to see the progress the Region is making. “We are looking forward to establishing a very productive relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government, and we are interested in establishing a presence in Kurdistan,” he said.
The Chargé’s visit was following up on a visit to the Region by the Philippines’ Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs in September 2011, and he went on to say that the Republic of the Philippines plans to soon appoint an honorary consul in Erbil, which they anticipate will eventually be upgraded to a consulate general.
Minister Mustafa commended the Philippines’ decision to reengage in Iraq and said, “We welcome your decision to reestablish your presence in Baghdad – it shows strength, goodwill and determination.” Minister Mustafa also welcomed the possibility of opening an honorary consulate in Erbil and said the KRG will be ready to assist in this endeavour.
The embassy was reopened on November 15th 2011, and the Philippines government plans to appoint an ambassador in the near future. The government of the Philippines has also highlighted the security and stability of the Kurdistan Region in its recent travel reports.
The two sides also stressed the importance of establishing a legal mechanism to manage and regulate visitors from the Philippines, and discussed the peaceful and active Filipino community in Kurdistan. Mr. Miranda said, ‘Our community is sincerely enjoying their time in Kurdistan, and I assure you we have not had any complaints about their treatment.’ He added that those present in the region feel a deep bond with the Kurdish people.
Mr. Miranda was accompanied to the meeting by Ms. Lagrimas Ligeralbe, a representative of the Filipino community in Kurdistan.