Today, the Minister of the Italian Defence Roberta Pinotti, accompanied by the Chief of Defense General Staff, Gen. Claudio Graziano, the Chief of Staff of Minister of Defense, Adm. Girardelli Valter, the Diplomatic Advisor, Min. Nicoletta Bombardiere and others senior officials, arrived in Erbil for a flying visit of two days.
She was welcomed at the International airport of Erbil by the Minister of Interior and Peshmerga Karim Sinjari, the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa, the High Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Italy Mrs. Rezan Kader and Italian Consul in Erbil Mrs. Alessandra Di Pippo.
Firstly, Minister Pinotti met the Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, who invited the delegation to a welcome dinner.
Minister Pinotti thanked the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Kurdish Peshmerga for their efforts in the fight against Daesh and for the key role in the stabilization of the area. She also reaffirmed the commitment and support of the Italian Government to the country, stressing that Italy in Iraq has the largest contingent after the United States: it is the most important task at this time the country has in the world. Italy participates in the Operation 'First Parthica' against Daesh with over 800 soldiers, engaged in training (in Erbil and Baghdad) and air operations (from Kuwait, 270 military). An additional contingent of 450 men will be allocated within the next few months to protect the Mosul dam.
Prime Minister Barzani thanked the Minister Pinotti for the visit and the continuous support of Italy, in military and humanitarian terms. He thanked again the Prime Minister Renzi for having been the first Prime Minister to visit the country after the Daesh attack in June 2014.
Finally, the parties discussed on bilateral relations and the mutual wish to intensify them at all levels, the liberation of Mosul and the need to coordinate the operation between the various actors involved, the relations with the central government in Baghdad and the intention of KRG to achieve a peaceful settlement, the maintenance and safety of the Mosul dam - made by the Italian company Trevi - and the possible increase of the Italian civil and military personnel in the territory of the autonomous region.