ERBIL — A senior Kurdish delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is in the United States where they discussed unification of the Peshmerga Forces among other topics.
Peshmerga Minister Shorish Ismail told a press conference on Friday that he held several “fruitful” meetings with US officials in which they focused on military cooperations and stability of Kurdistan.
He noted that Washington and other allies insist on accelerating the efforts to unify the Peshmerga Forces, a case that has been among the “top priorities” for the KRG’s 9th Cabinet.
The minister stressed that the US officials have made it clear that Washington’s support to the Peshmerga forces depends on the reform process within the Peshmerga Ministry.
“They clearly told us that if the reform process does not go in a good and systematic way, it will have a negative impact on the [military] supports to the Peshmerga Forces,” he said.
The US also insists on the formation of the joint Peshmerga-Iraqi Army Brigades to address the security concerns in the areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, where Islamic State (IS) militants maintain presence and carry out regular terrorist attacks.
However, the brigades have not gone operational yet and Minister Ismail put the blame on the Iraqi government.
“In Iraq, several obstacles are created to every task… They had multiple demands and we met them. This is Iraq — It takes so much effort and time to get a task done,” Ismail explained.