Germany aid to Iraq 'relies on resolving Kurdish conflict'

Germany aid to Iraq 'relies on resolving Kurdish conflict'
2 min read
19 December, 2017
The German government said its continued support for Iraq relies on Baghdad resolving its dispute with the Kurdish region, which voted to split from the country in September.
The Kurdish referendum triggered protests in Erbil and an armed attack by Baghdad [Getty]
Germany has said its support for Iraq and the Kurdistan region was reliant on peace efforts on both sides to resolve their differences.

The German government has provided more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in aid to Iraq since 2014, making it one of the biggest international donors.

"Our support is for Iraq as a unified state," Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters after meeting with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in Berlin.

"We want to continue that, but the precondition is that Iraq solves its internal conflicts peacefully and democratically, and that we find a way out of the tense situation we are in now."

Germany was among many Western powers and Arab allies that warned the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government against holding the September 25 referendum.

Iraqi Kurds voted overwhelmingly to form an independent state, prompting a protests in Erbil and an armed attack by Baghdad that captured disputed areas including Kirkuk from Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Gabriel said Berlin would push the government in Baghdad to respond to offers of dialogue by the KRG.

Barzani urged Germany to "play a stronger role in bringing us together".

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Barzani also thanked Germany for supporting his region's fight against Islamic State, and training Peshmerga fighters.

The German parliament voted last week to extend its military mission in northern Iraq, around 150 strong, to the end of March to allow a new Berlin government to weigh a longer extension.

The Iraq Report is a weekly feature at The New Arab.

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