Nechirvan Barzani thanks Germany for continued support to Peshmerga

<p style="text-align:left">The President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani extended the region&amp;rsquo;s deep appreciation to Germany for its long-standing support to the Kurdistan Region, and, particularly, for Germany&amp;rsquo;s ongoing efforts to train the Peshmerga forces.

Barzani discussed the latest security and political developments in Iraq and in the region with a delegation of German parliamentarians on Monday.
The German delegation included J&uuml;rgen Hardt of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Markus Gr&uuml;bel, also of the CDU, who is currently Germany&rsquo;s Commissioner for Global Freedom of Religion. Barbara Wolf, German Consul General in Erbil, also attended the meeting.
Germany recently resumed its work with the Peshmerga, following a brief suspension of that activity, after the US assassination of Qassim Soleimani, head of Iran&rsquo;s paramilitary Quds Force.
The German delegation thanked the people and government of the Kurdistan Region for providing shelter and haven for the large number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from other areas of Iraq and of refugees, largely from Syria, whom the Kurdistan Region now hosts.
Over one million IDPS and refugees remain in the Kurdistan Region, with new refugees arriving daily from Syria. Meeting their basic needs is a significant burden on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), as it requires some $1 billion a year.
Both Hardt and Gr&uuml;bel affirmed that Germany would continue to support the KRG in its humanitarian efforts and in the ongoing fight against the so-called Islamic State.
The threat of the re-emergence of the terrorist group in Iraq and the general political and security situation in the country was also discussed. The German delegation stressed the importance of maintaining the presence of the international Coalition in Iraq to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State there and elsewhere in the region.
Earlier this month, the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, visited Jordan, which serves as Germany&rsquo;s base for coordinating its Middle East operations and where German troops are also based.
A &ldquo;troop withdrawal from Iraq will make it a fertile ground for terrorism and attacks will hit the region and Europe,&rdquo; Haas stated at a press conference in Amman.
Arguing that progress in the fight against the Islamic State needs to be preserved, Maas affirmed that &ldquo;it is important to continue with our duties, as the International Coalition in Iraq and the area.&rdquo;
Germany&rsquo;s current Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer visited the Kurdistan Region in August and pledged continued support to the Peshmerga and to the Region more broadly.
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