We have very strong relations with the Kurdistan Region: Dutch PM

Dutch PM Mark Rutte on Thursday told Kurdistan 24 that the Netherlands has strong relations with the Kurdistan Region.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Kurdistan 24's Barzan Hassan on Thursday that the Netherlands has strong bilateral relations with the Kurdistan Region, including the Kurdish Prime Minister (Masrour Barzani) and the President (Nechirvan Barzani). 

The Dutch PM Rutte earlier this month met with PM Masrour Barzani during the Davos conference in Switzerland.

“These are always very friendly talks and obviously we're all very worried about disintegration in the region, and we call for de-escalation to prevent a regional escalation of the conflict. So there we are very much on one page,” he said, about the ongoing attacks by Iran-backed groups on US bases since the Gaza war in October.

Three US Army soldiers were killed on Jan. 28 and more than 30 service members were injured in a drone attack in Jordan.

Moreover, the Netherlands this month strongly condemned Iran’s missile attack on Erbil on Jan. 15, which killed four civilians and injured six others, including one 11-month-old Dutch baby.

Read More: Dutch FM concerned over Erbil attack and regional escalation

On Jan. 19, the Dutch FM Bruins Slot on Friday talked with her Iranian counterpart to ask for clarification about the death of a Dutch child in the attack and summoned Iran's ambassador to the Netherlands.

“We condemned the attack and we are really concerned and asked Iran to prevent regional escalation," the Dutch FM earlier told Kurdistan 24.

The Dutch government in September decided to deploy 120 additional Dutch soldiers to Baghdad to support the NATO Mission Iraq (NMI).

Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren told Kurdistan 24’s Barzan Hassan on Wednesday that the Dutch army are involved with NATO and the anti-ISIS mission in Iraq.

"So, off course we are very concerned, like our partners and very strongly urging Iran to stop these attacks and to also make sure that the attacks that are ongoing now on high frequency must stop."

She added they urged Baghdad to do the same thing.