Erbil, Kurdistan Region – Iraq (KRG.org) - The Korean Zaytun forces stationed in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq today presented the people of the region with a state-of-the-art library. The library will house more than 100,000 books and will provide a national learning centre for students, scholars and citizens of the Kurdistan Region.
The Zaytun Division has been stationed in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, since 2004, assuring stability and security as well as providing humanitarian assistance and bringing valuable infrastructure projects to the whole region
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani warmly thanked the Koreans for their gracious gift and said, “The opening of this library is a clear signal from Korea that they are our friends and are committed to helping the people of the Kurdistan Region and all Iraq. We strongly welcome this initiative as it will create new horizons for our country’s students, scientists, and intellectuals.”
"At this stage, federal Iraq needs the support and assistance of the international community more than ever, to ensure that the country can pass from a transitional stage to one of stability and a developed future.” He added, “The Korean troops brought Iraq a message of peace from the people and government of Korea, and in their efforts to bring us peace and reconstruction, they have performed most honourably.”
Mr Ha Chong Ho, the Korean Ambassador to Iraq, attended the opening event. He said, “All the people of Iraq will remain friends of the Korean people. I am very proud of everything our Zaytun Division has accomplished in the Kurdistan Region and I am honoured to be here for the opening of this wonderful library. The return home of the forces is only the end of one chapter in our relations."
General Jang Kwang-il of the Korean national forces, travelled from Korea to Erbil to join in the ceremony. He told those attending, “The Korean people, government and military see Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as great friends. We have worked hard together over the years to build this friendship, and together we have already achieved so much.”
The Zaytun Division and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have been very active in the Kurdistan Region developing the service infrastructure, assisting in the industrial, agricultural educational and health sectors, and building schools and a modern IT training centre.
By the end of 2008, the remaining Korean troops will conclude their mission in Iraq after five years of proud service to all the Iraqi people. Prime Minister Barzani sincerely thanked the soldiers for their hard work and dedicated service. He said that relations with Korea will continue to grow and that he hoped to see Korean businessmen and investors take the place of the departing forces.
Prime Minister Barzani's speech at the Zaytun Library opening ceremony
Photos of the opening ceremony