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Peshmerga seeking support in visit to Hungary

This article originally appeared in Kurdistan 24.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A delegation from the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga left on Sunday for Hungary, seeking a continuation and expansion of current administrative and medical aid provided by the country, a senior Kurdish military commander said shortly before departure.

“On an official invitation from the Hungarian government, a delegation from the Ministry of Peshmerga will visit the country’s Ministry of Defense and parliament, among others,” Administrator of Unit 70 of the Peshmerga forces Sheikh Jangi Sheikh Mustafa told Kurdistan 24.

The Kurdish delegation and Hungarian officials are set to discuss the political, security, and economic trends in the Kurdistan Region, Mustafa said, highlighting that the most pressing topics would be the matter of the Islamic State (IS) and the medical needs of the Ministry of Peshmerga after the 2017 military defeat of the terrorist organization.

Sirwan Barzani, the Peshmerga commander in charge of the Gwer-Makhmour unit, told Kurdistan 24, “Since the Peshmerga forces do not have a dedicated budget, the ministry requires [financial] assistance.”

He then added that what is most needed “is a military hospital to treat the wounded [Peshmerga] in the fight against Da’esh [IS].”

Hungary is part of the Kurdistan Training Coordination Center (KTCC), which is made up of instructors from nine other countries: Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Budapest has also provided millions of dollars in direct assistance to repair Christian homes, schools, and churches in Iraq and Syria, rather than take in refugees.

Sheikh Mustafa affirmed that “Hungary has provided ongoing military and political support for the Kurdistan Region” and request their “continued aid of our Peshmerga.”

Edited by John J. Catherine

This article was originally published in Kurdistan 24.

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