Dr. Yusuf Goran, the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research appreciated the key role of France in cooperating with the Kurdistan Region politically, academically, culturally and militarily.
This statement came during a meeting with Alain Guépratte, the French General Consul to the Kurdistan Region, who visited the KRG Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research on August 26, 2015.
Dr. Amanj Saeed, Advisor to the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, attended the meeting. After welcoming the visiting delegation, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “France has its own speciality for us as Kurds; I hope we will enhance our bilateral relations at the level of our ministry and at the level of the KRG.”
On his part, Guépratte presented a brief on their recent works and activities in the Kurdistan Region. He also indicated the Kurdistan Region’s political process as well as the war against ISIS, and applauded the role of Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga Forces who bravely defend Kurdistan Region’s territory. He also congratulated the people of Kurdistan for the recent victories by the Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk.
“We are happy that there is a strong relationship between the Peshmerga forces and the French forces,” he added.
Regarding Kurdistan Region’s political situation, Guépratte said: “The current talks among the political sides are democracy negotiations.” He reaffirmed the stance by France foreign ministry towards Kurdistan Region’s political situation, hoping that the political issues to be settled through negotiations. “Kurdistan Region’s stability is important for us,” Guépratte stressed.
Within the same framework, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “Fortunately, the political sides are taking the Kurdistan Region’s current situation into consideration, and they did not allow the political talks to affect the military situation on ground, for example, today while the political sides are meeting, fortunately Peshmerga forces are making new victories against ISIS in Daquk-Kirkuk front. Thus, the talks are democratic and civil negotiations.”
Regarding the bilateral ties, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “We have a plan to reinforce and further our relations with the Franc’s academic institutions. Additionally, we do not want our relations to be narrowed just within the framework of scholarships, but we want to develop it to include exchanging researchers from both sides. Meanwhile, France can cooperate with us in areas which are vital to the Kurdistan Region.”
Mr. Goran also hoped that the French General Consul to the Kurdistan Region to play the role of bridging both sides, especially while the KRG Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is now working to enter the Bologna Process, and works to accomplish the project of National Ranking of Kurdistan Region’s Universities.
Accordingly, Guépratte talked about the opening of a French university in the Kurdistan region, indicating a project by the French Ecole pour l'Informatique et les Techniques Avancées, which is an important French School of Computer Science & Advanced Techniques, and they are planning to open a university in the Kurdistan Region.
“The aim of this project is preparing computer engineers in the Kurdistan Region, hoping that his country to participate in Kurdistan Region’s rehabilitation through such projects,” Guépratte added.
On his part, Dr. Yusuf Goran said: “For opening any higher education institute in the Kurdistan Region, we as the KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research have several criterions, especially regarding quality, market needs, the rank, place, lecturers and the administration staff of the university. If the university meets the ministry’s criterions, we will embrace its opening and will be a cooperator.”