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German Minister of Defense von der Leyen visits Erbil

German Minister of Defense von der Leyen visits Erbil

Last week a German military and diplomatic delegation, headed by the German Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, visited the Kurdistan Region. Minister von der Leyen’s visit included a meeting with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, as well as with the KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. The two sides particularly focused on bilateral relations, the anticipated liberation of Mosul as well as relations between the KRG and the Iraqi federal government.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his government’s gratitude for the German military support to the Peshmerga Forces for the past two years as an important part of the international efforts in the war against ISIS. On behalf of the government of Germany, Minister von der Leyen expressed her enduring support to the Kurdistan Region. She furthermore pointed out her satisfaction with the understanding recently reached between Erbil and Baghdad, hoping that both the Iraqi Federal Government and the KRG would develop cooperation in many other areas.

Furthermore, Minister von der Leyen plans to establish more flexible training centers to work more efficiently. Those centers, lead by the German Armed Forces are supposed to be closer at the front.

When Minister von der Leyen met with President Barzani, the two sides particularly discussed bilateral relations and the anticipated liberation of Mosul. The German Minister of Defense underlined the continuous support by Germany to the Kurdistan Region, especially by providing humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons and refugees who fled ISIS terrorists and took refuge in the Kurdistan Region. With plans for the liberation of Mosul becoming more specific, another half a million people is expected to take refuge in Kurdistan.

In this context, Prime Minister Barzani pointed out that, with the support of the coalition forces, a good joint military plan has been set, while underlining the need to plan post-liberation Mosul. Both sides agreed on the importance of a clear post-liberation plan for Mosul as well as their willingness to continue their good political and military cooperation in the future.

For more information:

Von der Leyen: Flexiblere Ausbildungseinrichtungen im Irak

Von der Leyen: Ausbildung der Peschmerga näher an die Front

Übersicht: Verteidigungsministerin von der Leyen besucht Irak