President Barzani Welcomes Canadian Foreign Minister Nicholson
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani welcomed Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson in Erbil today. In a meeting between the two, they discussed the fight against the ISIS terrorists, the military and humanitarian assistance by Canada to the KRG, and enhancing bilateral relations between the two sides.
Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson commended the bravery of the Peshmarga forces in fighting the ISIS terrorists. He said as part of the international coalition, Canada would continue to support the KRG with military assistance and added that his country is committed to the security of the people of Kurdistan.
President Barzani thanked Canada for its steadfast support for Kurdistan in this fight, adding that the people of Kurdistan are grateful for this support.
Nicholson first arrived in Baghdad to meet the country's leadership and moved on to Kurdistan's capital of Erbil for meetings with the Kurdish leaders. He said the trip would help the government assess whether to extend its sixmonth military commitment to the coalition that is fighting the Islamic State militants.
"Progress is being made, but more needs to be done," said Nicholson, who visited some of the 69 Canadian Special Forces commandos who are training Kurdish Peshmarga fighters.
Canada has also contributed a half dozen CF-18 fighter jets to the international coalition that is trying to diminish ISIS's strength.
The Minister also visited an internally displaced person's camp in Kurdistan and lauded the efforts of aid workers, including the Canadians.
"It gives you a good feeling about what our country is doing but it doesn't change the fact that there is devastation inflicted on the people of this area by ISIS, and this is something the world can't tolerate."
In Baghdad, Nicholson met his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.
"There was recognition that this is not just a military operation, that it's much more complex than that, and that they will need continued support and help. Canada is very interested in continuing that kind of support," Nicholson said.