Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Germany’s Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr. Gerd Müller, along with the head of the German Green Party and the Vice President of the Bundestag, Ms. Claudia Roth.
In the meeting attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and a number of KRG senior officials, the visiting delegation commended the Kurdistan Region for having been able to prevail over a number of hard challenges in the past two years, including the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, accommodating and assisting close to two million refugees and internally displaced people, and facing a hard financial crisis.
Highlighting the military cooperation between the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga military force and the Iraqi army in the Mosul liberation operation, the delegation reaffirmed that Germany will continue its military and humanitarian support.
Mr. Müller stressed his country’s willingness to contribute to the reconstruction of the war-torn liberated areas, and helping IDPs return to their places of origin.
While expressing her appreciation for the assistance offered to the IDPs regardless their ethnic or religious origin, Ms. Claudia Roth raised questions regarding relations between Erbil and Baghdad.
Prime Minister Barzani thanked the German Government for its military and humanitarian support to the Kurdistan Region.
Regarding the relations between Erbil and Baghdad, he stressed that despite a productive military cooperation between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army in the Mosul operations, Baghdad has not provided humanitarian assistance, even though injured Iraqi soldiers are treated in Kurdistan’s hospitals.
Deputy Prime Minister Talabani briefed the visiting delegation on the economic difficulties caused by Baghdad’s withholding Kurdistan’s share in the Iraqi federal budget. While hoping for a better economic situation in 2017, he stressed that Germany could play a role in helping the Region to overcome its economic hardship.