On December 23, President Nechirvan Barzani received in Erbil the Prime Minister of Italy Ms. Giorgia Meloni who is visiting Iraq and the Kurdistan Region on her first official trip outside Europe.
During their meeting, President Nechirvan Barzani welcomed Prime Minister Meloni to the Kurdistan Region and wished her a Merry Christmas. The President congratulated Ms. Meloni on her electoral victory and assuming the post of the prime minister of Italy. The President also expressed the Kurdistan Region’s appreciation for Italy’s military, political and humanitarian assistance, and its support to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region during the fight against ISIS.
For her part, Prime Minister Meloni stressed that her country attaches special importance to its relations with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and considered the strength and stability of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region as important for both Iraq and the wider region. In this context, President Nechirvan Barzani reiterated that the Kurdistan Region seeks to resolve all issues with Baghdad through dialogue and on the basis of the Constitution.
The President and the Prime Minister agreed that ISIS is still a real threat to the security and stability of Iraq and Syria, and that Iraq and the Kurdistan Region continue to need the international support to eliminate ISIS. They also stressed on further developing bilateral relations between Italy and the Kurdistan Region and their collective cooperation in all fields. In this context, Prime Minister Meloni extended an official invitation to President Nechirvan Barzani to visit Rome.
Discussions also focused on the program of Prime Minister Meloni to inspect the Italian forces present in the Kurdistan Region within the framework of the International Coalition to eliminate ISIS, and the presence and role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Iraq. The condition of the displaced, the status of the refugees and ethnic and religious communities, especially the Christians and the Yezidis, the situation in the wider region, and the ramifications of the war in Ukraine and other issues of mutual interest were also highlighted.
The Italian PM also met with Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.
I look forward to continuing today’s exchange with Prime Minister @GiorgiaMeloni — and building on the already strong people-to-people ties between Kurdistan and Italy. pic.twitter.com/FjkfansDSj
— Masrour Barzani (@masrourbarzani) December 23, 2022