Erbil and Abu Dhabi reap what “Abu Idris” and “Abu Khaled” sowed

Erbil and Abu Dhabi reap what “Abu Idris” and “Abu Khaled” sowed

Shafaq News / The visit of the President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, to the United Arab Emirates at the official invitation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan marks a significant milestone in the growing relationship between the two nations. The visit is the culmination of years of effort and shared interests between the two leaders, reflecting a vision for open doors and cooperation.

As both parties prioritize growth and prosperity, the meeting provides an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties and exchange perspectives, experiences, and ideas. With a history of harmonious connection and economic exchange, the visit holds potential for further collaboration and mutual benefit.

Nechirvan Barzani and Mohammed bin Zayed, two prominent leaders with ambitious plans, have expressed a keen interest in maintaining contact with each other. Even before the U.A.E. president took office to succeed Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed in May 2022 while serving as the de facto ruler due to his brother's illness, both leaders have valued their relationship.

The upcoming meeting presents an opportunity for both leaders to strengthen bilateral ties and exchange perspectives, experiences, and ideas that may lead to fruitful collaborations in the future. The U.A.E. and the region have had a long-standing, harmonious connection, with the U.A.E.'s influential role evolving into a sought-after global force.

Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Region's influential location has also become clear under the guidance of Nechirvan Barzani, who is known for his role as the architect of reconstruction and peace and for his civility as a politician.

Furthermore, the timing of this visit is significant, as it comes just days after Barzani's high-level talks with the U.S. defense secretary, the German foreign minister, and the U.N. secretary-general. With their shared commitment to growth and prosperity, this meeting between Barzani and bin Zayed has the potential to foster greater collaboration and pave the way for a more prosperous future.

The relationship between the Kurdistan region and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has been harmonious for a long time. The U.A.E. has become an influential force globally, and the Kurdistan Region's strategic location has become apparent with the aid of Nechirvan Barzani, also known as "Abu Idris".

Furthermore, the U.A.E. has had a consulate in Erbil for more than a decade, emphasizing the development of ties with Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Kurdistan Region's fourth-largest trading partner is the U.A.E., after Turkey, Iran, and China, with an exchange of around $1 billion in trade each year.

Nechirvan Barzani's visit is taking place during a time of delicate external movement, aimed at serving the region's interests. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has sparked interest in energy resources worldwide, and Kurdistan has abundant resources that could help stabilize the turmoil in the world energy market. This is particularly relevant after resolving the oil crisis with Baghdad, with Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani being the official guest of Ali Mohammed bin Zayed in February.

Barzani, who received the official invitation from Mohammed bin Zayed “Abu Khaled” to visit the U.A.E. in late February, tweeted, "I was pleased to meet with the dear brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, in response to his kind invitation," adding that "we discussed bilateral relations between Iraq, especially the Kurdistan Region, and the U.A.E., as well as ways to strengthen and develop them at all levels, and we also discussed many issues of common concern."

According to the Kurdistan Region presidency, Nechirvan Barzani and Mohammed bin Zayed discussed various topics during their meeting, including the U.A.E.'s relations with Iraq and Kurdistan, areas of cooperation, current regional developments, and issues of mutual interest.

The U.A.E. has been a significant investor in the energy sector of Kurdistan, with more than 140 U.A.E. companies investing over $3 billion in the region. Among these, Dana Gas stands out as a leading investment business in the gas and oil sector, with numerous subsidiary companies that align with Kurdistan's goal of economic diversification.

Since 2007, the U.A.E. corporation has partnered with Crescent Petroleum in an exclusive rights agreement to assess, develop, produce, market, and sell oil and natural gas from the Khormor and Chemchemal fields in the Kurdistan Region. The continuous gas supply has helped to fuel more than 80% of the region's power generation capacity and has led to significant fuel cost savings through diesel replacement, resulting in environmental and economic benefits for the regional government.

The successful collaboration between the U.A.E. and Kurdistan in the energy sector has helped to strengthen their relationship and foster further cooperation between them.

Nechirvan Barzani's visit may contribute to activating economic cooperation between Erbil and Abu Dhabi, as it is expected that work will be done on a Supreme Council for businessmen investors in the Kurdistan Region, and through the U.A.E.-Kurdistan Economic Council.

It is worth noting that during Nechirvan Barzani's official visit to London in September 2021, the two leaders expressed a keen interest in meeting. Mohammed bin Zayed was then still the crown prince in Abu Dhabi. During their meeting, they discussed various issues of common interest, including relations between the Kurdistan Region and the U.A.E., the political situation in Iraq, predictions about the future of Iraq, and upcoming elections. They also discussed their visit to London, their meeting with the then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the latest developments in the region.

Bin Zayed and Nechirvan Barzani emphasized the importance of strengthening relations in all fields, and the need for joint action to maintain stability, address conflicts and tensions in the region, and exchange views on these topics.

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