Italian Premier, PM Barzani address bilateral relations between Italy and the Kurdistan Region

Meloni reiterated her country’s support for the Kurdistan Region and stressed, “I wanted my first visit outside the European Union to be the Kurdistan Region.”
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) shaking hands with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) shaking hands with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister (PM) Masrour Barzani on Friday received his Italian counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, in Erbil.

After their meeting, they held a joint press briefing. 

Meloni reiterated her country’s support for the Kurdistan Region and stressed, “I wanted my first visit outside the European Union to be the Kurdistan Region.”

She also expressed her gratitude for PM Barzani’s hospitality and looked forward to strengthening their bilateral relations.

Premier Barzani thanked the Italian Premier for her visit on behalf of the people of the Kurdistan Region and wished her and all Christians a Merry Christmas.

He highlighted that Meloni’s visit to the Kurdistan Region reflects the strong relations between Italy and Iraq, especially with the Kurdistan Region.

“Kurdistan can offer far more to Europe, in energy and agriculture. We want our fingerprints, our brand, to be in the European economy,” PM Barzani told Meloni in the meeting.

Meloni showed her readiness to support the Kurdistan Region. “We can do more too, and we will. We’re friends,” she said and officially extended an invitation to PM Barzani to visit Italy.

PM Barzani also congratulated Meloni on her newly-formed government and wished her success. 

The Italian Prime Minister arrived in Baghdad early Friday and met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, and Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid.

She then met with Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani after being welcomed by PM Barzani at the Erbil International Airport.

During her visit, she visited Italian troops stationed in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Since 2014, Italy has taken part in the multinational coalition called Operation Inherent Resolve ​​(OIR). Currently, there are nearly 300 Italian soldiers in the Kurdistan Region.

In December, the Italian Prime Minister in an official letter to PM Barzani expressed her country’s willingness to foster ties with the Kurdistan Region.

Read More: Italy’s Meloni expresses willingness to foster ties with Kurdistan

Giorgia Meloni, 45, was elected as Prime Minister of Italy on October 22, making her the first woman to hold this position.

She was a leader and co-founder of the Brothers of Italy, a right-wing national-conservative political party, which was founded in 2012.

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) walking with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni at the Erbil International Airport, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) walking with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni at the Erbil International Airport, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) during the meeting with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) during the meeting with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) in a press conference with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani (right) in a press conference with his counterpart Giorgia Meloni, Dec. 23, 2022. (Photo: Kurdistan Regional Government)