Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani (R) met Italian Prime Minster Giuseppe Conte (L) at Erbil airport on February 6, 2019. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Italian Prime Minster Giuseppe Conte arrived in Erbil Wednesday evening, met at the airport by Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
The two discussed strengthening relations, politically and economically, as well as in ongoing counter-terrorism efforts.
In a joint press conference, Barzani praised Italy’s assistance to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
“There is a very strong relationship between Kurdistan Region and Italy in terms of politics and culture,” he said.
Italy is a member of the US-led global coalition to defeat ISIS. Italian Carabinieri have trained some 20,000 Kurdish
Italy opened its consulate in Erbil in December 2015 and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has a representation office in Rome.
In July 2017, the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding that sees the Italian Ministry for the Environment provide financial support for the study of climate change, preparation of a weather alert system, identify ways to adapt to climate change, and water management.
Conte started the day in Baghdad where he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
Abdul-Mahdi said he hoped Iraq could make use of Italian expertise in the industrial and economic sectors and welcomed Italian companies that want to work in Iraq, according to a statement from his office.
Conte also met with Iraqi President Barham Salih.
Iraqi President Barham Salih (C) shakes hands with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (L) at Salam Presidential Palace in Baghdad on February 6, 2019. Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP
Updated 9:36 pm