Netherlands offers military support to Peshmerga forces

The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms Lilianne Ploumen, visited Erbil yesterday to discuss the latest security and humanitarian developments with Kurdish leadership.

The Minister and her delegation met with Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Dr Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff to Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, and Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi.

Minister Ploumen lauded the extraordinary role of the Kurdistan Region’s people and government in not only fighting the terrorists but also providing shelter for hundreds of thousands of displaced people, especially members of ethnic and religious minorities. She stated that the efforts to alleviate the suffering of IDPs and refugees are very admirable.

The Minister welcomed the formation of an international coalition in the fight against ISIS terrorists, adding that the Netherlands is willing to support and participate in the coalition forces’ battle against the terrorists.

She said, “The Dutch Government has decided to offer military aid to the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Peshmerga forces. We are also determined to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the IDPs and refugees in the Kurdistan Region.”

On behalf of the KRG, Minister Mustafa noted his appreciation for the support of the Dutch Government and briefed Minister Ploumen on the latest humanitarian and security developments. He stated that the KRG has made a concerted effort to care for refugees and the displaced, but further support from the international community is urgently required, as the needs of these civilians are beyond the KRG’s capacity.

Minister Mustafa also briefed Minister Ploumen on the latest military advances of the Peshmerga forces. He reiterated the commitment of the Peshmerga forces to fight the terrorists, calling for further military assistance from the international community in order to continue degrading the terrorist organisation and win battles on the ground.

Finally, Minister Mustafa called for the support of the Netherlands as the KRG seeks international recognition of crimes committed against religious and ethnic minorities by the terrorists as acts of genocide.

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