Italian Defense Minister arrives in Kurdistan Region

“Italy has been supporting the Peshmerga forces with arms and ammunition."

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Wednesday, Italian Defense Minister arrived in Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region, and met with Kurdish officials.

Roberta Pinotti, the Italian Defense Minister, landed in Erbil International Airport and was received by the acting Minister of Peshmerga Karim Sinjari and Head of Department of Foreign Relations Falah Mustafa.

Italian Defense Minister met the Kurdistan Region officials and will visit the Italian troops and advisers training the Peshmerga and Iraqi forces in the Region.

According to a Kurdistan24 reporter at the airport, Pinotti is expected to visit Mosul dam where 500 Italian troops are stationed and an Italian company is working on the renovation of the dam.

Rezan Kader, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in Rome told reporters that officials' visits to the Kurdistan Region are significant since they prove European countries' interest in the Region and Peshmerga forces.

Kader added that since the war against the Islamic State (IS) has started, Italy has been an important part of the global coalition against the extremist group and Italians are the second biggest military force in the Kurdistan Region.

“Italy has been supporting the Peshmerga forces with arms and ammunition and has supported the Region with humanitarian assistance,” she told reporters at Erbil International Airport.

According to Kader, there are more than 800 Italian soldiers and advisers in the Kurdistan Region training the Peshmerga forces and additional 500 troops in the Mosul dam.

On Wednesday morning Pinotti visited the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and met with the Iraqi officials including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

According to the Iraqi state-owned website, Abadi and Pinotti discussed strengthening bilateral relations on matters such as security, military, training the Iraqi forces and the war against terror.


Editing by Ava Homa