US, UK and Germany promise to help reform Peshmerga

US, UK and Germany promise to help reform Peshmerga
Establishing a stable security force will be essential if a possible referendum is passed later this year, with speculation over the re-opening of the Kurdistan Parliament also rising.
2 min read
08 May, 2017
Delegates from the PUK and the KDP party met with foreign military representatives [Facebook]

The Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil discussed a "long term and strategic" plan for the Peshmerga army with representatives from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany on Sunday.

The delegates at the meeting – the ninth of its kind in three months – discussed restructuring the Peshmerga forces and political reforms in the ministry.

"The coalition forces have seen some weaknesses through working with the Peshmerga and have therefore proposed reforms," said Jabar Yawar, chief of staff at the Ministry for Peshmerga.

"The Americans, German and British have promised us that not only do they make recommendations for change, they will also stay with us and help us implement every point of the plan," Rudaw reports.

"They don't mean something temporary – it is long term and strategic."

The future of the Kurdish region is of great importance as speculation mounts over the possibility of an independence referendum in September.

The deputy speaker of parliament told Rudaw News on Monday the parliament could reopen in June after remaining closed for over 18 months.

"There is good mutual understanding on this question. I think the parliament will be reactivated in a month," said Jaafar Ibrahim, a senior member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

"I think we are closer than we have ever been to a solution."

The re-opening of the legislature is an important first step towards a referendum, as the opposition party, Gorran, has said it will only recognise the results of a ballot mandated by parliament.

The parliament has remained closed since October 2015, after security forces prevented the speaker of the house, a Gorran party member, from attending parliament.