Prime Minister Barzani receives Germany’s Defense Minister

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq ( – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s Defense Minister, and a senior delegation from Bundestag Defense Committee, including parliamentarians from different parties.

The meeting was also attended by a number of ministers and senior officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Ms. von der Leyen and her accompanying parliamentarians commended the role of the Kurdistan military forces, the Peshmerga, in the fight against ISIS, and in protecting religious and ethnic communities who fled the war and took refuge in the Kurdistan Region. They stressed the continuation of Germany’s assistance to the displaced people and refugees.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked Germany for its military and humanitarian assistance, as part of the coalition forces, during the difficult times when ISIS threatened and attacked the Kurdistan Region.

He pointed out that another phase of the battle against ISIS remains to be fought, and that is the eradication of its extremist ideology. He hoped that the Bundestag will extend the mission of the German military training forces and the continuation of Germany’s military aid to the Kurdistan Region, as ISIS threat still subsists.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked Germany and France for their support last year, when the Kurdistan Region went through very difficult times. He stressed that the Kurdistan Region wants to have a strong presence in Baghdad, the fulfillment of its constitutional rights and stability in the region.

Prime Minister Barzani also discussed the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region, stressing the continuation of the implementation of government’s plans of reform after the formation of the new government.