ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – German Ambassador to Iraq Cyrill Nunn met with senior Kurdish leaders in the autonomous Kurdistan Region on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in Iraq and ties between Erbil and Berlin.
Nunn met with Masrour Barzani, the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), and the nominee to become the prime minister of the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet.
“In the meeting, Chancellor Barzani commended the opening of the German-funded hospital dedicated to Peshmerga Forces and Germany’s significant contributions towards Stabilization efforts in Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” according to the KRSC’s press office.
They also reviewed security conditions in the disputed territories. Barzani outlined ongoing talks to increase coordination between the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi security forces.
Nunn on Tuesday also met with the President of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, who is also the former President of the Kurdistan Region.
In the meeting, that German Consul-General in Erbil Barbara Wolf was also present, the German Ambassador highlighted Germany’s relations with Baghdad and Erbil, stating his country will continue its humanitarian support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and support stabilization in Iraq.
“He also stated that President Barzani is a source of great hope for all Kurds in the Middle East,” according to Barzani’s press release.
Although Masoud Barzani has held no governmental posts since he resigned as the Region’s president on Nov. 1, 2017, in the wake of the referendum backlash in Baghdad, he continues to play an influential role in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in general.
The two sides also discussed the political situation in the country and the relations between Erbil and Baghdad. They highlighted the latest developments and the threat of terrorism and extremist groups in Iraq and the region, the statement added.
In another part of the meeting, they exchanged views on the situation in Syria and the future of the Kurds there. “President Barzani expressed his concerns about the future of the Kurdish people in Syria.”
Regarding relations between Erbil and Baghdad, Barzani pointed to the “positive atmosphere prevailing between the two sides,” stressing the need to resort to peaceful political dialogue to address the long-standing disputes.
Received a German diplomatic delegation today which was headed by Serel Non, Germany's ambassador to Iraq. We discussed the political situations in Iraq. We also spoke of further strengthening the relations between Germany and the Kurdistan Region. pic.twitter.com/MOYPv0LPlo— Masoud Barzani (@masoud_barzani) February 5, 2019
The German envoy also met with the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, on the same day, praising “the heroism of Peshmerga forces” in defeating the Islamic State.
Barzani thanked Germany for its military support to the Kurdistan Region during the difficult times, and the construction of the Peshmerga Hospital in Erbil as a gift for the sacrifice of the Kurdish forces in the fight against the extremist group.
The threat of the Islamic State’s re-emergence in Iraq and the general security situation in the country was another topic both sides addressed. They also stressed the importance of coordination and cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad in that regard.
Germany is one of the members of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State. Over the past few years, the country has provided military and humanitarian aid to the Kurdistan Region with its foreign and defense ministers repeatedly visiting Erbil.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany