ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A German delegation headed by the country’s defense minister on Wednesday met with key Kurdish officials to affirm Germany’s continued support to the Kurdistan Region.
Following the German delegation’s meeting with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Peshmerga, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Peshmerga Minister Shorish Ismael held a joint press conference.
Ismael reminded reporters that the so-called Islamic State continues to pose a security threat in the region, noting that “the terrorist group is in the process of reorganizing its forces.”
The Kurdish official also revealed that the US-led coalition, of which Germany is a crucial member, would continue to support the Peshmerga forces, particularly in unifying the Kurdish troops.
For her part, Kramp-Karrenbauer said her country would continue to observe the security situation carefully, revealing that German forces would “remain in the Kurdistan Region.”
“Germany will continue to assist Peshmerga forces,” she told the media after her visit to a Peshmerga base where German military experts are training the Kurdish soldiers.
“We have completed the first phase of training the Peshmerga forces, and we will continue with the second phase, which is the training of trainers,” Kramp-Karrenbauer added.
She also praised the role of the German Development Agency (GIZ) and the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) in providing public support through training sessions and technical support.
In her meeting with the Kurdistan Region’s minister of interior, the two discussed the future collaboration between Germany and the autonomous Kurdish region on various levels, a statement from the interior ministry said.
The Peshmerga have been one of the most effective ground forces fighting the Islamic State since it emerged in 2014. The Kurdish troops pushed the terror group from much of northern Iraq, liberating most of the territories the Islamic State occupied.
According to the Iraqi Constitution, the Peshmerga are part of the national defense apparatus, but the federal government has often neglected and marginalized them.
Recent steps by the new KRG cabinet, however, indicate the two sides are attempting to enhance cooperation regarding the security of the country as a whole.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany