PM Barzani: In­ter­na­tional coali­tion is needed to de­feat ISIS

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani on Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 20, 2014 re­ceived a del­e­ga­tion of Chris­tian pa­tri­archs to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion in Kur­dis­tan and Iraq and the plight of in­ter­nally dis­placed peo­ple.

The del­e­ga­tion was led by Pa­tri­arch Car­di­nal Mar Be­shara Boutros al-Rahi, Ma­ronite Pa­tri­arch of An­ti­och and the East, and in­cluded sev­eral Catholic and Assyr­ian pa­tri­archs, bish­ops, and Chris­tian of­fi­cials rep­re­sent­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Iraq, and global com­mu­ni­ties.

The del­e­ga­tion ap­plauded the KRG for com­ing to the res­cue of the Christians in Mo­sul and the Ninevah plains, as well as ac­com­mo­da­tion for Christians that have fled cen­tral and south­ern parts of the coun­try and taken refuge in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. Mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion noted that Christians rec­og­nized the safety and se­cu­rity in the Re­gion and it has brought them hope.

Mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of sharing de­tails of the crimes per­pe­trated against the Christians and other mi­nori­ties with the Vat­i­can and with Wash­ing­ton, and sought in­ter­na­tional aerial pro­tec­tion for Christians, Yezidis, Shabak, Turk­men, and other mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties in the area. This would be nec­es­sary to en­sure their safety and al­low them to re­turn home. The del­e­ga­tion also praised the peo­ple and the gov­ern­ment of Kur­dis­tan for the aid and sup­port that have been pro­vided for the dis­placed.

Prime Min­is­ter Barzani un­der­scores the need for in­ter­na­tional in­volve­ment

Prime Min­is­ter Barzani noted the im­por­tance of this visit, which demon­strates the sol­i­dar­ity of the Chris­tian del­e­ga­tion with the var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and Iraq. He said, “The KRG sup­ports mi­nori­ties and will spare no ef­fort in pro­tect­ing them. Th­ese com­mu­ni­ties have roots in this area stretch­ing back mil­len­nia. How­ever, the KRG can­not re­solve the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion alone, as this fight re­quires re­sources be­yond our gov­ern­ment’s ca­pac­ity. We are fight­ing a ter­ror­ist state, not just a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.” In this re­gard, the Prime Min­is­ter agreed with the call for in­ter­na­tional aerial pro­tec­tion for Christians and other mi­nor­ity groups.

The Prime Min­is­ter added that even af­ter the fall of the pre­vi­ous regime in 2003, Iraq’s fed­eral gov­ern­ment had not con­trib­uted what­so­ever in pro­vid­ing arms or train­ing to the Pesh­merga forces. Iraq had not even sent small arms to use in the fight against the ter­ror­ists, who looted the most ad­vanced weaponry from the Iraqi army. The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties there­fore had been quite limited and this had hin­dered the Pesh­merga forces’ abil­ity to com­bat a ter­ror­ist state with ac­cess to heavy and ad­vanced weaponry.

Prime Min­is­ter Barzani stated that Pesh­merga forces are now on the of­fen­sive and have re­taken sev­eral ar­eas, but that this war re­quires an in­ter­na­tional coali­tion. The KRG is there­fore li­ais­ing with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and with Bagh­dad to de­feat the ter­ror­ists. He also urged the del­e­ga­tion to dis­cuss the cri­sis. He said, “Your voices are mean­ing­ful in pro­mot­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of an in­ter­na­tional coali­tion, and you can play an im­por­tant role.”

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion's Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani meets Pa­tri­arch Car­di­nal Mar Be­shara Boutros al-Rahi, Er­bil, Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 20, 2014. KRG.org Photo

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