PUK ‘eager’ to establish national force to defend Kurdistan: Bafel Talabani

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is “eager” to establish a national force that defends the Kurdistan Region, Co-president Bafel Talabani said on Wednesday.

Talabani met with Peshmerga commanders in Qalachwalan area in Sulaimani on Wednesday.

Kurdistan Region’s Vice President Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa and commander of Peshmerga’s 70 unit Mustafa Chawrash alongside several other officials attended the meeting, Talabani’s press office said in a statement.

“Our efforts continue to review and reorganize the units and to improve military capabilities,” Talabani said in the meeting.

“We consider serving the Peshmerga forces and providing a decent life as our duty, and you will see the changes in the future,” he added.

Regarding the reorganization of the Peshmerga forces, Talabani said the PUK “is eager” to establish a national force that defends the Kurdistan Region’s land and its high interests, the statement read.

“With the support of the Coalition and our allies, we will carry out this national process and make the Peshmerga forces an armed and steely force in a way that is at the level of challenges and protects the stability and security of the Kurdistan Region,” he noted.

In February 2018, the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga ministry announced a 35-point plan to make the Peshmerga a more efficient, modern, and non-partisan fighting force, 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.

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