Kurdistan president calls on federal government to see Peshmerga as Iraq protector

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday called on the Iraqi government to consider Peshmerga forces as protector of the country.

Barzani arrived in Sulaimani city on Sunday morning to participate in a ceremony held for the graduates of the college of military in Qalachwalan area of Sulaimani city.

Barzani delivered his congratulation remarks in the ceremony, saying the new graduates would take part in the protection of Iraq’s sovereignty.

“The protection of Iraq is very important for us,” he said during the ceremony attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, Kurdistan Vice President Mustafa Said Qadr.

“Federalism is to facilitate the management of the country and for equality between the regions. Federalism will not weaken Iraq’s sovereignty. It will strengthen our partnership,” he added.

He also called on the Iraqi government  and the defense ministry to consider Peshmerga forces as part of the protection forces.

Regarding unification of Peshmerga, Barzani said the forces should be unified so as to preserve their pride.

“The unification of Peshmerga forces require fast and reliable step,” he noted.

He also called on the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to decide on the unification with “confidence and no regrets and to stop interference in Peshmerga affairs”.

In February 2018, the ministry of Peshmerga announced a 35-point plan to make the Peshmerga a more efficient, modern, and non-partisan fighting force, which was developed in consultation with advisors from the U.S., UK and Germany.

The Peshmerga ministry’s reforms include the unification of its units that are not under the command of the official military institution as well as training for the forces.

Addressing issues between the KDP and PUK, Barzani said the two parties’ problems “are not very critical which cannot be resolved.”

“But obstacles are often created. We should all sit at the negotiating table with the spirit of the responsibility in order to improve the Kurdistan Region’s situation.”

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