Swe­den, Italy and EU ready to sup­port Kur­dis­tan

Pres­i­dent Barzani meets Swe­den’s For­eign Min­is­ter and Ital­ian PM

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

On Au­gust 19, Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Ma­soud Barzani met with Swe­den’s For­eign Min­is­ter Carl Bid who was ac­com­pa­nied by EU Com­mis­sioner for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion, Humanitarian Aid and Cri­sis Re­sponse Kristalina Ge­orgieva.

In a meet­ing in his of­fice in Sala­haddin, Pres­i­dent Barzani called for more humanitarian aid from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, say­ing that host­ing and pro­vid­ing the ba­sic needs for more than 1.5 mil­lion IDPs and Syr­ian refugees in Kur­dis­tan are be­yond the ca­pac­ity of the KRG. The Pres­i­dent thanked po­lit­i­cal and humanitarian sup­port from the EU coun­tries but added that much more needs to be done.

Pres­i­dent Barzani also said that the vis­its by Euro­pean of­fi­cials and their public mes­sages of sup­port give the peo­ple and gov­ern­ment of Kur­dis­tan hope and con­fi­dence to stand firm against ISIS ter­ror­ism.

The Swedish For­eign Min­is­ter Bildt ex­pressed his coun­try’s full sup­port for the KRG in its fight against the ISIS and said that all EU coun­tries are in­tent to help the KRG in deal­ing with the large num­ber of IDPs and that they have also agreed on a longterm strat­egy to con­front the ISIS threat.

The EU Com­mis­sioner Kristalina Ge­orgieva also praised the KRG for its gen­eros­ity to­wards the IDPs and refugees and said that the EU would con­tinue to pro­vide humanitarian aid to Kur­dis­tan for as long as it is nec­es­sary.

Pres­i­dent Barzani agreed with the For­eign Min­is­ter Bildt that form­ing a truly in­clu­sive, rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment in Bagh­dad would con­sti­tute a ma­jor step for- ward to de­feat­ing the ISIS threat, but added that this is the last chance. He at­trib­uted the cur­rent dire state of af­fairs to the wrong poli­cies of the out­go­ing Prime Min­is­ter Noori Ma­liki.

On Au­gust 20, Italy’s Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi ar­rived in Er­bil and met with Pres­i­dent Barzani and the Prime Min­ster Nechir­van Barzani. He also vis­ited a refugee camp near Er­bil which is home to a large num­ber of IDPs from Ni­nawa prov­ince.

Prime Min­is­ter Renzi ex­pressed his coun­try’s sup­port for the KRG in its fight against ISIS ter­ror­ism and stated that Italy would pro­vide both humanitarian and mil­i­tary aid to the KRG. He added that there is a con­sen­sus in the EU that both humanitarian and mil­i­tary aid must be pro­vided to the KRG. On the fight against ter­ror­ism, Prime Min­is­ter Renzi said that Italy stands by the KRG in this fight, as ISIS is a threat to Italy and not just to Kur­dis­tan.

Pres­i­dent Barzani ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the peo­ple and gov­ern­ment of Italy for their show of sol­i­dar­ity and of­fer of sup­port and said that this public sup­port gives the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan more hope and strength in the face of ter­ror­ism.

In their meet­ing, they also dis­cussed the plight of the hun­dreds of thou­sands of IDPs and refugees who have sought refuge in Kur­dis­tan. Pres­i­dent Barzani said that the KRG would spare no ef­fort to tend to the needs of the IDPs. He added that Kur­dis­tan is proud to be a place where peo­ple of dif­fer­ent re­li­gious and eth­nic back­grounds live side by side in peace and that the KRG would do what­ever it takes to pro­tect this tra­di­tion.

Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi shakes hands with the Iraqi Kur­dish leader Mas­sud Barzani, be­fore a meet­ing on Au­gust 20, 2014 in Ar­bil, the cap­i­tal of the Kur­dish au­ton­o­mous re­gion of north­ern Iraq.

Nechir­van Barzani, prime min­is­ter of Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment, shakes hands with Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi upon his ar­rival in Ar­bil the cap­i­tal of the au­ton­o­mous Kur­dish re­gion of north­ern Iraq, on Au­gust 20, 2014.

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