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Italian Foreign Minister commends the role of Kurdistan Peshmarga forces

The Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received Paolo Gentiloni Italy’s Foreign Minister and his accompanying delegation.

In the meeting, Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the latest developments in the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, known as ISIS, and the recent Kurdistan Peshmerga victories in Sinjar and its surrounding. He conveyed the gratitude of the Kurdistan people and government to the United States, European Countries and members of the international coalition for their support to Peshmerga forces.

The Prime Minister explained how the impacts of the coalition airstrikes have changed the balance of the war and highlighted Peshmerga forces resilience in the fight against terrorism.

The Prime Minister also explained the dire situation of more the 1.5 million internally displaced and refugees, who fled ISIS violence and took refuge in Kurdistan Region. He urged the international community and the United Nations to provide assistance as soon as possible, especially with the arrival of winter season their conditions will become harder.

Prime Minister Barzani conveyed his gratitude to Italy’s Prime Minister and the chief of staff of the Italian army for visiting the Kurdistan Region following the ISIS onslaughts in August and conveyed his personal greetings to his counterpart.

Prime Minister Barzani pointed out that the KRG needs Italy’s support to encourage the international community and Europe to help the Kurdistan Region in its effort to obtain recognition of the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yezidi Kurds as genocide.

In another part of the meeting, the Prime Minister highlighted the recent breakthrough agreement reached early this month between Erbil and Baghdad, hoping that it will pave the way for resolving the rest of the outstanding issues in a realistic way. He also reiterated the Kurdistan Region’s support for the new Iraqi Prime Minister and his government.

The Italian Foreign Minister lauded the Peshmerga forces for their recent victories in Sinjar and its surrounding areas and noted the important role of Peshmerga in the international coalition against ISIS, adding that his country will continue to support the Kurdistan Region.

He also pointed out that the number of Italian military advisors, currently training Peshmerga forces, will be increased in the near future, stressing that Italy will continue to support the Kurdistan Region both directly and within the international coalition.

Mr. Gentiloni also noted that Italy can help the Kurdistan Region in the reconstruction process of the ISIS held territories, once liberated, stressing that Italy has significant experience in reconstruction and restoration.

Regarding Italy’s presence in the Kurdistan Region, the Foreign Minister hoped for their diplomatic representation office in Erbil to be upgraded to consulate general soon, adding that his country’s parliament has already approved the move.

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