The Italian consulate recently celebrated Italy’s liberation day in the capital of the Kurdistan Region, praising the developing ties between both nations.
“The relations between Italy and the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] are very strong,” the Italian Consul in Erbil Serena Muroni told Kurdistan24.
Muroni mentioned the relations are not only on the state level but also between the people of both nations.
“Italy is the second [largest] contributor to the [US-led] coalition, is supporting Peshmerga and the police through training, and now is offering the possibility to wounded Peshmerga to be treated in Italy,” the Consul added.
Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Vincenzo Amendola, who also attended the celebration in Erbil, highlighted the ties between Kurdistan and Italy.
He stated that in addition to the military trainers, there are many Italian-based NGOs and businessmen in the Region.
“We have a cooperation in many fields [with the Kurdistan Region],” Amendola told Kurdistan24.
He noted the Italian commitment in training Peshmerga and helping police forces started two years ago, and will continue.
Amendola emphasized the priority now for Iraqis and Kurds was to defeat the Islamic State (IS).
Regarding Kurdish plans to hold a referendum on independence, the Italian official said Italy would respect any decisions made through dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil.
Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) Falah Mustafa told Kurdistan24 the bilateral relations with Italy are positive in different aspects.
Mustafa pointed out Italy is one of the key members of the US-led coalition in supporting and training Peshmerga as well as sending weapons and ammunition.
Previously, the KRG Representative to Italy Rezan Kader stated there are over 800 Italian soldiers and advisers in the Kurdistan Region, providing training and military tactics to Peshmerga forces.