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Iraq: Amendola visits the Italian bases of Baghdad and Erbil

The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, continues his mission in Iraq. This morning’s first meeting was in Baghdad with the Minister for Transport, Kadhim Finjan al-Hamami. Discussions hinged around the projects implemented by the Iraqi government to modernise the national infrastructures, from road to rail and port.

The Undersecretary then visited Camp Dublin, bearing greetings from the Italian government to the Italian soldiers involved in training the Iraqi police and security forces, with a particular emphasis on anti-terrorism techniques.

It is training that – in the approach to the definitive conquest of Mosul – is proving to be essential in stabilising the zones released to date. Since 28, June 2015, the Italian Carabinieri military police forces have trained more than 8500 local and federal police officers. Another 4000 Iraqi and approximately 800 Peshmerga have instead been trained by contingents of other Italian forces involved in training activities.

In the afternoon, Mr Amendola travelled to Erbil, where he visited the Italian military base. In the north of the country, the Italian soldiers have the task of training the units of the Kurdistan Regional Government (to date, more than 9000).

Mr Amendola stressed to the soldiers, based in Baghdad and Erbil, who are part of the First Parthian mission and part of the international coalition against Daesh, that “all Italians were extremely grateful and appreciative”. He then added that “the government is observing your excellent work as world peace-keepers very carefully. The First Parthian operation is a real jewel in our country’s crown. You are working to guarantee the success of the training of the Iraqi and Peshmerga police and security forces. This is essential to monitoring the areas released from Daesh”.

The Undersecretary then met with the Kurdistan Regional Government Head of Foreign Affairs, Falah Mustafa. Finally, in the evening, Mr Amendola took part in the early celebrations of the 71st Anniversary of the Italian Republic.