PM Barzani: We expect further aid from the international community

Erbil, Kurdistan region, Iraq ( – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, received yesterday a delegation comprising members from the European Union Parliament.

The two sides discussed the current situation in the Kurdistan Region, the issue of the refugees and internally displaced people, the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, and the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad.

The visiting delegation praised Kurdistan Regional Government for having accommodated and provided humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis who fled ISIS repression in other parts of Iraq and took refuge in the Kurdistan Region, despite its financial crisis and the heavy burden this population represents for the Region.

The members of the European Parliament delegation also praised the role of the Peshmerga forces who they described as defenders of freedom and human values. The delegation paid respect to the sacrifices of the Peshmerga and hoped that this war will end soon, marked by Peshmerga’s victory.

They also discussed Kurdistan Region’s humanitarian and military needs and the prospects of the agreement reached between the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government on oil export and budgetary issues.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed the gratitude of the people and government of the Kurdistan Region for the positive stances that the European Union has taken towards the Region. He stressed that the Kurdistan Region will continue providing assistance to the internally displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees, and to the survivors of terrorism.

However, the Kurdistan Region, he said, expects the international community to increase its aid, so far inadequate, in order for the Region to address its emergency situation.

It is expected that the awaited military operation to liberate the city of Mosul from ISIS occupation, will provoke a heavy influx of displaced people, making their way to the Kurdistan Region. Prime Minister Barzani said that the Region hoped that the international community and in particular the European Union would provide the necessary assistance, either directly or indirectly through United Nations agencies or non-governmental organisations, helping the region to be ready for all the eventualities.

The Prime Minister briefed the visiting delegation about the situation in the war front against ISIS and the victories marked by the Peshmerga forces.

Regarding the relations between Erbil and Baghdad, the Prime Minister reiterated that the Kurdistan Region is committed to the agreement it reached with Baghdad last December, adding that meantime Baghdad must also comply with the budget law of 2015, in its terms regarding the Kurdistan Region and implement them.

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