ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A Dutch MP states that the Netherlands can help the Kurdistan Region on military and humanitarian grounds.
Harry Van Bommel, a Dutch MP and a member of the Socialist Party, in an interview with Kurdistan24 on Tuesday, said that Netherlands can help the Kurdistan Region in three ways.
“There is a humanitarian issue where tens of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees need food and shelter from the Kurdistan Regional Government,” Bommel said.
He added that his country can contribute financially and through encouraging Dutch NGOs to provide services to IDPs and refugees in the Region.
According to Bommel another way that Netherlands can help Kurdistan Region militarily by making sure that Peshmerga forces are trained well.
However, he said that Dutch government is reluctant to send arms to the Peshmerga forces.
Finally, Bommel explained that “We need to make sure that IS is not only beaten militarily, but the ideology of IS is beaten… make sure anti-west, anti-secular ideology is gone, we need to help there as well.”
In August 2016, the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, accompanied by a diplomatic and military delegate visited the Kurdistan Region and met with the Region’s officials and the Dutch troops stationed in the Region to train Peshmerga forces.
Regarding the relations between Erbil and Baghdad, Bommel stated that if the problems remain unresolved and the Kurdistan Region does not receive its constitutional share from budget, steps towards more autonomy of maybe even independence will be taken.
Bommel who has been a parliament member since 1998 is on a visit to Kurdistan Region where he participated in a conference on tolerance in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region on Tuesday.
He added that independence is an internal matter that needs to be discussed locally, but according to Bommel, independent Kurdistan requires establishing independent institutions in the Kurdistan Region.
“I will ask my party to support independent Kurdistan because I think independence is the best way to secure the future of the people in this Region,” Bommel told Kurdistan24.
Concerning Mosul operation, Bommel said, “There is a plan to defeat IS in Mosul but there is no plan on how to govern Mosul.”
Editing by Ava Homa
[Omed Ali conducted the interview]