World Bulletin / News Desk
The Kurdish Peshmerga will play an important role in saving Mosul from ISIL, the President of Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government Masoud Barzani said.
Barzani’s comments came during a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond following a bilateral meeting in the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil on Thursday.
“Unless ISIL is removed from Mosul, it would not be right to say that they have been defeated. Peshmerga forces will have an important role in taking back the city,” Barzani said, adding that the presence of ISIL is a serious threat for the region.
“As long as ISIL remains in Mosul, it is not possible to say that the region is safe,” the president said.
Noting that there was complete cooperation between the Iraqi army and the international coalition forces in taking back Mosul, Barzani said that it was important for all political parties to come together to save the city and agree on how it would be governed after ISIL.
“Peshmerga forces are ready for all possibilities. In order to ensure that the ethnical and religious minorities in the region do not suffer the same calamities after the city is taken back, their rights must be guaranteed as well as their safe return to their homes,” he said.
Hammond, for this part, said the UK would continue training Peshmergas to combat ISIL, and assist the KRG to overcome its economic crisis, which he said was as important as defeating ISIL.
“We will continue with our program of training of Peshmerga forces. I think, so far, we have trained 3,000 Peshmergas in our counter-IED program in particular,” he said. “We will continue to supply equipment and support, but the crucially important thing that we have to do is to work with you on this challenge of economic reform.”
Previously, Hammond met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad on Wednesday.
The two discussed reconstruction efforts in the country, Iraqi prime ministry sources said.Last Mod: 17 Mart 2016, 17:50