“Together we fight ISIS”, was the motto of a short visit by the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the Kurdish capital of Erbil on Tuesday. Rutte met his Kurdish counterpart Nechirvan Barzani for three quarters of an hour at the Erbil International Airport.
The Dutch Airforce flew Rutte mainly to Iraq to show his support to the
Dutch military that is training Iraqi Special Forces in Baghdad and
Peshmerga troops in the Kurdistan Region.
Following his meeting with his Kurdish hosts at the airport, Rutte told
dozens of members of the Dutch force that he was there “to stress how
crucial your task is. We have an enemy that we need to defeat, and this
is a fight of the whole world against ISIS, not only of Iraq and Syria.”
He said he was impressed by the difference he saw between Baghdad and
Erbil – even though he did not leave the airport during his two hour’s
“Kurdistan is much more stable than a couple of years ago, and our
battle against ISIS helps to improve the stability even further.”
His talks with Prime Minister Barzani are seen as “a strong message of
support from the Netherlands,” said the Kurdish minister of foreign
affairs Falah Mustafa to Rudaw.