ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Italian Foreign Minister on Tuesday stated Italy had strong ties with the Kurdistan Region and its President Masoud Barzani.
Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, the Italian Foreign Minister, praised the role of the Kurdistan Region and said Italy had good relations with President Barzani, the Kurdistan Region, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
“We continue to work with the Kurdistan Region leadership,” Silveri said.
“We were in contact with them in the past few weeks and even in the past few days to talk about and share information on matters of mutual interest, including the renovation of the Mosul dam,” the Italian FM added.
In December 2014, the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said his country would send 450 troops to defend the strategic Mosul dam and protect the Italian company’s staff working on the renovations for the barrier.
The Mosul Dam is located on the Tigris River in the western part of the Kurdistan Region currently under protection by Peshmerga forces after they liberated the area from Islamic State (IS) control in late 2014.
Regarding calls for a referendum in the Region, Silveri told Kurdistan24 that “every nation has the right to determine their future.”
On Dec. 23, 2015, Italy opened its Consulate in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region.
Italy is one of the members of the international coalition in the war against IS.
The coalition includes nearly 200 Italian advisors who provide military training and support for the Peshmerga forces in the Region battling the insurgent group.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany