Kurdish PM Says Korean Troops Security Top Priority

Wext: Monday, 16.August. @ 00:00:00 CEST


Arirang TV- Aug 15, 2004 — The deployment of Korea’s Zayitun unit to Arbil, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, will be complete in September. And in line with efforts to ensure that the unit’s contribution to reconstruction efforts is a success, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government has pledged to place his weight behind the unit’s mission in the area.

The Prime Minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan regional government, Nechirvan Barzani says he appreciates the Korean government’s decision to send additional troops to Iraq. When asked about the security situation in Arbil, he emphasized to get a full picture of the situation, the Korean people must keep in mind that the Iraqi Kurdistan region is an autonomous zone in Iraq.

"There have been attempts to destabilize the situation of the region like the rest of Iraq.

But because we have our own security institutions in place, our own military forces therefore I can assure you that if you compare the situation with the rest of Iraq there is a great difference.

Generally speaking, the security situation in our region is good." Despite the relative stability of the region, Mr. Barzani pointed to the safety of the Korean troops as a top priority for the Kurdistan regional government.

"In fact, before the troop deployment the Korean mission visited our region to be reassured of the security situation. Our top priority in dealing with this issue is the security and safety of the Korean troops. This is because we realize that these troops come from distances to provide support and cooperation. Within this framework, we have established a communicative liaison team with the Korean troops in order to have the mechanism to coordinate the Peshmarga forces which are the military forces of Kurdistan. They would be stationed in area to give reassurance. I can state that especially after my visit to Korea, I have understood how important the issue is and we will take it very seriously." Mr. Barzani said.

According to the Prime Minister, the yearlong medical services and the reconstruction efforts of some six hundred Korean troops in Nasiriyah in southern Iraq was greatly appreciated. Now with those troops and some 3000 additional Korean soldiers of the Zayitun unit gathering in Arbil to provide a helping hand, the people who are eager to reconstruct their country are welcoming the soldiers as part of their community.

Mr. Barzani also feels that the current ongoing conflict in Iraq is a natural part of transition into democracy and that Korea with its own history of transition will be able to help.

"We certainly want to achieve a democratic Iraq and also an Iraq that will respect the will of its own people and also its neighboring countries. Achieving this goal and this objective is difficult and it needs time."

Source: Kurdistan Observer

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