ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Dutch Prime Minister accompanied by a diplomatic and military delegate visited the Kurdistan Region.
On Tuesday, the Dutch PM Mark Rutte and his companions arrived at Erbil International Airport and were received by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) PM Nechirvan Barzani and other KRG officials.
According to a statement released on the KRG official website, the meeting between the KRG and Dutch officials centered around the current issues facing the Kurdistan Region, the Mosul liberation military operation and the relations between the Region and Baghdad.
In the meeting, the Dutch PM Rutte praised the role of the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces in the fight against terrorism, reaffirming that Netherlands would continue its military support for the Peshmerga forces, KRG reported.
Rutte commended the people and the government of the Kurdistan Region for accommodating 1.6 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees who fled the violence of the Islamic State (IS). “Netherlands is trying, along with all European countries to obtain further humanitarian aid to the Region,” Rutte said according to the KRG statement.
“Netherlands is trying, along with all European countries to obtain further humanitarian aid to the Region,” Rutte said.
Dutch PM hoped that both governments develop relations on various fields particularly the agriculture sector in which according to Rutte, the Dutch consulate can play an important role, the statement read.
Nechirvan Barzani, the KRG PM expressed his gratitude for Netherland’s humanitarian and military support for the Kurdistan Region, stating that the Kurdistan Region expects allies to help the Region overcome challenges.
[KRG and Dutch Prime Ministers with the Dutch military personnel, August 9, 2016]
Dutch has sent 150 military personnel to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq to train Iraqi and Peshmerga forces to fight the IS on the ground. “Where necessary, training is given close to the front line. Dutch military personnel are not involved in the fighting on the ground,” Dutch Defense Ministry website says.
PM Barzani called for an increase in the humanitarian aid provided by the international community to the Region as it is expected that a large number of civilians will flee the Mosul following the military operation and take refuge in the Kurdistan Region, KRG added.
It was reported that a shipment of Dutch military aid arrived in Erbil on Tuesday; however, this was not confirmed by the KRG PM who said in a press conference, “I am not aware if the Dutch delegation brought any military assistance.”
Editing by Ava Homa