Statement: meeting between KRG and Peshmerga General Command
Based on the instruction of Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region and Commander-in-Chief of Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces, a joint meeting between the military and the government was held in Erbil 14 June
Erbil, Kurdistan ( KRG. org) – Based on the instruction of Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region and Commanderin-Chief of Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces, a joint meeting between the military and the government was held in Erbil today, 14 June 2014.
The meeting was held under the supervision of Kosrat Rasul, Kurdistan Region Vice President and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces, and KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. A number of commanders and senior officials participated in the meeting.
The withdrawal of the Iraqi Army from several Iraqi governorates was discussed in detail, as well as the role of the Peshmerga forces filling the vacuum caused by this withdrawal. This decision was taken because of a sense of national responsibility to protect peace, stability, and the people living in these areas, including Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Sunnis, and Shia. This is an expression of the loyalty and the commitment of the Peshmerga forces to protect the stability of the country and the lives and well being of its people. Peshmerga forces will act according to their full sense of national responsibility.
Participants in the meeting reassured the people living in areas under Peshmerga control that the stability of these areas and the lives and well being of residents will be protected in every way possible, adding that they have nothing to fear because the Peshmerga will loyally protect them.
Participants in the meeting expressed their sorrow and disappointment regarding the circumstances that Iraq faces today. At the same time, this unfortunate situation has proved that the approach of the leadership of the Kurdistan Region has been true to the people and the leaders of Iraq – that Iraq can only be governed through commitment to the Constitution and the principle of consensus through which all groups of Iraq feel that they are part of the country’s decision-making. Kurdistan’s political leadership has on many occasions warned about the possibility of the emergence of this type of situation. Unfortunately, some did not feel this was a threat.
In the meeting it was agreed that the Peshmerga would hold defensive positions, and have never taken any offensive measures and do not want any complications to be created on the front lines. It was also emphasized that the solution for the ongoing situation can only be reached by genuine political settlement, not through military means and not without consensus. This is why it was reiterated that stability and progress would only return to Iraq through the establishment of consensus among Shia, Sunni, Kurds, and other components of Iraqi society.
Participants also pointed out that since Kurds have been victims of terrorism themselves, they are committed to international obligations to establish stability and contribute actively to the promotion of international peace and security.
In order to supervise and work hard in a coordinated manner during these circumstances, the meeting decided the following.
First: The establishment of a high level security and military operations room in the Kurdistan Region to oversee all security and military activities, in line with the Kurdistan Region’s laws, together with Kurdistan Regional Government institutions; and the creation of temporary rooms in the various areas where they should all work together with a common stance, comprised of all components of the society of Kurdistan.
Second: That only Lieutenant General Jabbar Yawar, the Spokesperson of the Region’s armed forces, is authorised to give official statements regarding the military operations and activities of the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces.
The meeting also highlighted the following two requests.
First: Members of the families that have fled violence in Mosul and other cities and entered the Kurdistan Region are our brothers and sisters. We have provided whatever assistance possible to help them and we will continue supporting them. We also extend our call to the generous people of the Kurdistan Region to provide assistance and support to these families, in line with the Region’s security and administrative guidelines.
Second: We urge the international community to take all necessary measures to provide aid and assistance to those displaced people who have left their homes and belongings behind and entered the Kurdistan Region, and to partner with the Kurdistan Regional Government in supporting these families.