Germany pledges continued support to Kurdistan, will facilitate voluntary return of thousands of Iraqis

Germany opened an advice center for returning refugees in Erbil, and will establish another one in Baghdad.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Germany’s minister of development on Sunday arrived in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil for talks with senior Kurdish officials about his country’s plans to facilitate the voluntary return of thousands of displaced Iraqis back to their homes.

In a meeting with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and other Kurdish officials, Development Minister Gerd Muller reiterated Germany’s military and humanitarian support for the Kurdistan Region, according to a statement released on the KRG’s website.

Muller said his country valued the historical relations it shares with the Region and hoped ties would continue to develop on all levels, particularly economic and trade aspects.

During the meeting, German and Kurdish officials discussed the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees in Kurdistan and the difficulties they have faced.

Earlier in the day, following the opening of an advice center for returning refugees in Erbil, Muller pledged more German support for the KRG to help the IDPs and refugees currently residing in the Kurdistan Region.

The German official thanked the KRG for its support of nearly 250,000 Syrian refugees in the past five years, stating that Germany will “continue its support [for the IDPs and refugees] just like in the previous years.”

Before arriving in Erbil, the German representative met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad to discuss the situation of displaced persons and refugees.

Following a meeting with Iraqi officials, Muller revealed that Germany and Iraq would step up cooperation on the reintegration of Iraqi refugees by helping 10,000 people return home, German Deutsche Welle reported.

Muller added that the Iraqis, who will be repatriated to their homes at their own free will, would be given education and employment opportunities in cooperation with Iraqi authorities and companies.

Germany plans to open another advice center to support refugees returning to Baghdad.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany