U.S. to build biggest consulate building in Erbil, Kurdistan Region
The new U.S. consulate building will cost $600 million, and will be built on 200,000 square meters on Erbil-Shaqlawa Road.
The Erbil complex will be constructed by four American and some local companies and will finish in four years. The building will be bigger than the U.S.’s second biggest embassy building which is in Yerevan, Armenia.
“We signed the project for the US Consulate General building in Erbil when Matthias Mitman was the Consul,” Falah Mustafa, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Foreign Relations Office, said.
“The US relations with the Kurdistan Region are not new. The U.S. has had a significant role in the making of today’s Kurdistan since 1991.”
The US initially opened a diplomatic office in Erbil in February 2007, which it later upgraded to a consulate general in 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama declared in his first speech on the emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS) that Erbil was a “red line” for Washington. This show of support was decisive in preventing the ISIS from reaching the Kurdish capital.
The U.S. consulate general building in Erbil is second only to the US Embassy’s building in Baghdad which is built on 420,000 square-meters.
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad was built in 2009 and is its biggest mission compound in the world which cost the country $750 million, a complex the size of the Vatican. ■