France commits to provide Kurdistan Region with advanced weapons and increased military aid

Paris, France ( – The President of France, Francois Hollande, on Wednesday received at Elysée Palace a high-ranking delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, led by the Minister, Mustafa Sayid Qadir, accompanied by a number of field commanders from the battle fronts and officials from the ministry. THU, 2 APR 2015

The purpose of the delegation’s visit to France was to request further weapons and increased military aid for the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces, particularly heavy weaponry, and increasing the level of training of the Peshmerga forces.

After briefing the French President about the current situation on the battle fronts against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, also known as ISIS, the Minister of Peshmerga Affairs said, “We need more sophisticated weapons to eliminate this enemy who murdered a number of French citizens in Paris last January, and who savagely killed our citizens in Kurdistan. They pose a grave threat not only to the Kurdistan Region but to the entire world.”

The meeting was also attended by the French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the special Chief of Staff of the French President, General Puga, and a number of the French President’s advisors.

The French President expressed his understanding for Peshmerga’s needs for advanced weaponry and pledged to undertake his utmost efforts in order to meet these demands.

After listening to the requirements of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs delegation, President Hollande said, “It seems that the situation is urgent and I will ask the Minister of Defence to study these demands and see how can we meet these demands quickly.” He also announced that the French Defence Minister will be visiting the Kurdistan Region in the coming few weeks.

The meeting between the military delegation from the Kurdistan Region and the French President came at the initiative of French philosopher and writer, Bernard-Henri Levy, who visited the battle fronts in the Kurdistan Region last February, and vowed he will urge the highest authorities in France to provide better and more military assistance to Kurdistan Peshmerga forces.

Following the meeting with the French President, a broad public meeting was held later in the evening between the Ministry of Peshmerga delegation and a large number of well known French personalities, writers, intellectuals, friends of the Kurdish people, as well as members of the Kurdish community in France. In this meeting the Minister of Peshmerga and the members of the Kurdistan Region military delegation briefed the audience about their visit to France and the current situation and developments in the war against terrorism.

Earlier, the Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in France hosted a meeting for the Minister of Peshmerga Affairs with researchers and experts from the French Institute for International Relations, IFRI.

The visiting delegation from the Kurdistan Region also visited the prestigious Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence. The delegation was received by the President of the Institute, and held a meeting at the office that was once used by Napoleon Bonaparte as well as Marshall Joseph Joffre the General Commander of the coalition forces during the First World War.

On the last day of its visit, the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs delegation met the French parliamentary group of Study on Kurdistan Region of Iraq, headed by former French Minister Pierre Lellouche. The Minister of Peshmerga Affairs briefed the French parliamentary group about the latest political and military situation in the Kurdistan Region, in particular the situation in the battlefronts against ISIS. Lellouche said that as head of this parliamentary group and as a member of the opposition in France, he fully supports the Kurdistan Region in its war against terrorism.

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