A German delegation, headed by Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Muller, arrived in Erbil yesterday to discuss the latest developments in the Kurdistan Region.
The delegation met with Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi, the KRG Representative to Germany Dilshad Barzani and other senior officials.
Minister Mustafa thanked the delegation for visiting Kurdistan at such an important time, noting the KRG’s sincere appreciation for the humanitarian and military support provided by Germany.
The Minister said that throughout history the Kurdish Peshmerga forces have proven their courage and resilience. They are currently risking their lives as they beat back the terrorists in order to protect all civilians in Kurdistan, including the many ethnic and religious minorities now sheltered in the Kurdistan Region.
Highlighting the necessity of continued military support for the Kurdistan Region, Minister Mustafa said, “The support of the international community is vital if we are to continue to push back the terrorists and preserve our Region’s culture of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.”
Minister Mustafa called for Germany’s moral, legal, and political support as the KRG seeks international recognition of terrorist crimes committed against religious and ethnic minorities as acts of genocide.
He added, “We thank the German Government for its brave decision to provide military aid. We know that it was not an easy decision for Germany to make, but it certainly was the right decision. We are most grateful.”
Minister Muller commended the KRG on its tremendous economic and political development over the last few years. He said, “I would like to express my deepest respect to the KRG for what it has accomplished during recent years in terms of creating stability in the Region. The KRG should be proud of achieving such a high level of stability, economic growth, and peace. The Kurdistan Region can be a model for the rest of Iraq.”
He added, “In the past fifty years, we have not been involved in providing military weapons to areas affected by conflict. But we decided to provide military support to Kurdistan, and we are determined to continue to do so, because IS [terrorists] are not only a regional threat, but a threat to the whole world. I assure you that Germany will be on your side.”
Minister Muller also praised the role of Kurdish Peshmerga forces, saying, “The Kurdish Peshmerga forces deserve the utmost respect from the international community because they are fighting to preserve peace, freedom, religious tolerance, and democracy.”
Minister Muller also informed Minister Mustafa that the German government has increased its humanitarian assistance for IDPs and refugees sheltered in Kurdistan by €25 million and reiterated that the German Government will continue to provide such humanitarian aid.
The Deputy Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations Karwan Jamal, Germany’s Acting Consul General Oliver Schnakenberg, and senior officials from both sides attended the meeting.