Kurdistan Region PM receives Italian defense minister

Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region, met with Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini and an accompanying delegation on Tuesday evening in Erbil.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region, met with Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini and an accompanying delegation on Tuesday evening in Erbil.

In their meeting, Barzani and Guerini discussed the current situation in Iraq, the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and the status of the so-called Islamic State in the region.

The Italian defense minister mentioned past relations between Italy and the Kurdistan Region and expressed his pleasure at their ties and strong coordination with the Peshmerga, praising the Kurdish forces for their sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

Guerini also affirmed that Italy will renew next month its commitment to the fight against the Islamic State through its support of Peshmerga forces, as he stated that “his country, as a key member of the Global Coalition against ISIS, will continue to support the Peshmerga and the KRG in protecting the people of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq,” according to a KRG statement.

“Italy plans to renew its mission in Iraq, which Prime Minister Barzani asserted was critical to sustaining efforts to combat the re-emergence of ISIS and other armed groups,” it continued. “He also expressed the KRG’s desire to further strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations and long-time allies.”

“Recognizing the extensive support of the Italian government to the Kurdistan Region in the fight against the Islamic State, Prime Minister Barzani updated Minister Guerini on the latest developments and threats to the stability and security of Iraq and the Middle East,” the statement added.

For his part, Barzani extended his gratitude and appreciation for the Italian aid to the Peshmerga forces and expressed his desire to further develop the relationship between the two governments.

Italy is a member of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State. Its troops have been training Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces to this end over the past few years. 

Italy also provided humanitarian aid to 200 displaced families in 2017 for the victims of the powerful earthquake that hit south of the Kurdistan Region on Sept. 2017.  

Editing by John J. Catherine