UK to continue providing military and humanitarian support for Kurdistan
The Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received on Monday, October 13, Philip Hammond, the UK Secretary of State and Commonwealth Affairs and his accompanying delegation, which included a number of diplomatic and military officials among them the UK's ambassador to Iraq.
Hammond expressed his happiness about his visit and said that prior to flying into Erbil he was in Baghdad and he felt a positive political atmosphere due to the decision of Kurdistan Region to participate in the new Iraqi government and sending the Kurdish ministers to commence their new missions.
Hammond mentioned that this move will encourage Baghdad authorities to take necessary measures to solve the issues between the central and the regional governments.
UK's Secretary of State talked about the security and humanitarian conditions in Kurdistan and hailed the efforts of the KRG to receive and accommodate this huge number of refugees and displaced families despite its financial and security situation. He called on the international community to help the refugees during the coming winter season.
Hammond also praised the Peshmarge forces for their success in their fight against the Islamic State terrorists and removing security threats away from Kurdistan's borders. He reiterated his country's commitment to continue pro- viding humanitarian and military support to Kurdistan as part of the international coalition against ISIS.
Minister Hammond reiterated that his government is willing to improve its bilateral relations with Kurdistan in all aspects especially in the areas mutually agreed upon during the last visit of KRG's Prime Minister to London. He also stated that they are still working on launching direct flights between Erbil and London and they are trying to do that in the nearest future.
PM Barzani expressed his gratitude for the decision by the British government and Parliament to help Kurdistan in this difficult time and said that Kurdistan still needs more military support to defeat ISIS and also to help more than one million displaced people who have fled into the region in the recent months.
After the meeting, PM Barzani and Minister Hammond spoke to the journalists in a press conference, where Minister Hammond said they discussed the military achievements in the fight against ISIS and he also said he was surprised by the capability of the Peshmarga forces in fighting ISIS.
Hammond also talked about the situation in the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane and said they watch the scenes of Kobane on a daily basis, but that the international community has a long term plan to counter ISIS and that the international coalition has a joint plan to uproot the terrorist group.
PM Barzani told reporters that he has told Hammond that they need heavy arms such as anti-tanks and helicopters to defeat ISIS. “We need to have weapons similar to what ISIS has," he said.
Barzani also talked about their participation in the new Iraqi government and said "we have decided to send our ministers to Baghdad, and afterwards we will set a time to send a delegation to Baghdad to resolve the pending issues with the central government.”
The Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received on Monday, October 13, Philip Hammond, the UK Secretary of State and Commonwealth Affairs and his accompanying delegation, which included a number of diplomatic and military officials.