Kurdistan Regional GovernmentRepresentation in Italy

Roma - 23 Oct 2014
The Governor Atrushi and his delegation met Italian Government authorities .

oday, the Governor Atrushi and his delegation met with key members of the Italian government. Early in the morning the Governor went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he met Min. Pl. Alessandro Gaudiano, head of the Iraq Task Force for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with international cooperation experts to discuss the current situation in the Kurdistan Region.

he Min. Pl. Alessandro Gaudiano expressed his appreciation to the Kurdistan Regional Government for their support and refuge offered to about two million refugees regardless of their ethnicity and religion. The Minister Gaudiano briefed the Governor Atrushi that the Kurdistan Region, and in particular the Governorate of Duhok are a primary focus of the 'co-operation activities of the Foreign Ministry at the moment: in addition to the immediate contribution provided during the month of August by sending 6 flights of humanitarian support to UN agencies present in the field and the recent dispatch of a medical team, the Ministry of foreign affairs has operated a reorientation of the use of funds available for initiatives to support the authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government in emergency management. In particular, the Minister Gaudiano added that the Steering Committee has approved a new initiative for the health district of Duhok just to support the local health authorities in dealing with the enormous influx of refugees. In this context, the Directorate for Development Cooperation also is taking steps to protect the cultural and archaeological heritage of the area which is not a humanitarian priority but still a treasure to be protected.

The Governor thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the invitation and for the role played by Italy in this emergency situation. Italy is one of the most important partners for Kurdistan in the cooperation field and at the economic and commercial level. At the present time, said the Governor of Dohuk, an unprecedented humanitarian emergency is ongoing. The number of refugees and displaced persons is steadily increasing. Only the Governorate of Duhok hosts 700,000 refugees and the situation will become more difficult with the approach of winter. The governor listed the basic needs of those refugees and internally displaced persons: supply of food, adequate housing and a functioning health system, whose structures have been converted as housing, like other public buildings. The Government is building 30-35 units that will house 15,000 families. In this context, the UN agencies are offering their valuable support but there are problems of coordination and corruption of those who seek to benefit from this tragic situation.

Moreover, in addition to humanitarian aid, it is necessary to increase the political support and the delivery of heavy weaponry to Peshmerga to stop the ISIS and restore peace and stability in the Kurdistan Region and in the area in general. Finally, the Governor looks forward to resolve tensions with the central government in Baghdad that it is 10 months which does not send the budget for the Kurdistan Region and does not support it in any military operation. For this reason, it is necessary to act together to ensure a peaceful future and a hope to these people, returning them to their homes.

The Governor Atrushi was then received by the Italian Chief of Staff, Adm. Binelli Mantelli with whom they traveled to visit the Peshmerga, where they were conducting a major training course under the supervision of the School of Cesano infantry. A training course for 10 students chosen for a period of one week to allow them the proper use of the weapons that the coalition is sending to the regional government to deal with the terrorists ISIS.

In the afternoon, the Governor Atrushi and his delegation attended the conference "NATO after Wales Summit" which took place at SIOI. The President of the SIOI Franco Frattini pointed out that today NATO is facing a number of threats. The threat of ISIS is increasingly serious, a threat that the entire international community underestimated, making serious mistakes. We cannot ignore the new Kurdish genocide and we cannot let the Kurdistan Regional Government and its Peshmerga forces face alone terrorists of ISIS. The fall of Iraq and Kurdistan is a catastrophe that affects everyone, since ISIS will not only destroy the Kurdish Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, but wants to destroy democracy. The President Frattini then left the floor to the Governor Atrushi who thanked President Frattini for this opportunity to speak at this important conference and the Italian government for the role it is playing in this situation in the Kurdistan Region. NATO also has a key role both in Europe and internationally. If NATO does not invest in security, providing courses of training, arms and financial support, it will be a huge problem for all of us.
The Peshmerga are not able to recover Mosul and other areas of occupation with their own strength alone. We must restore peace and stability in and around the Middle East always defending freedom and democracy , the Governor Atrushi and President Frattini also had a bilateral meeting during which the Governor informed the President Frattini in more detail on the situation of refugees and invited him to return to Kurdistan and visit the city of Duhok where he could hold a conference in one of the prestigious universities.
The Prefect of Rome Pecoraro received the Governor Atrushi and his delegation to discuss the current situation in the Kurdistan Region.
The Governor concluded by inviting the Italian Government to support the Kurdistan Regional Government more and more in order to derive mutual benefit in the near future and in order to return to Kurdistan that lovely mosaic of peace where there is an integration of all ethnic and religious components.