PES delegation visits Daesh frontline near Kirkuk
Representatives of the Party of European Socialists visited the defence lines against Daesh near Kirkuk in Iraqi Kurdistan, and learned first-hand about the strategy used to defeat the so-called Islamic State.
The PES delegation met with the military commanders of Iraqi government forces and with the commander of regional Peshmerga units, Jafar Mustafa.
President Sergei Stanishev said:
"Daesh is our common enemy. Only two years ago, few people believed that this threat could be stopped. But now, thanks to the courage and sacrifice of the Peshmerga Kurdistan soldiers, their creed of intolerance and death is being defeated.
"We are proud of the international alliance that is supporting the Iraqi people - and we will take the message back from to Europe about what we have seen today."
Delegates from PES also visited a refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan and met representatives from the many different communities living there.
"Here, next to the battlefront, there are thousands of people seeking shelter, hoping to be close to their homes when the fighting is over."
The PES delegation met with the leadership of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Kirkuk, discussing the situation with refugees and opposing the threats from Daesh.
Among the PES delegation members are:
- President Sergei Stanishev
- PES Women President Zita Gurmai
- Deputy Secretary-General Giacomo Filibeck
- Vice-President Jan Royall
- Representatives from PES member parties from Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK
- Socialist and social democrat MPs and MEPs
Notes for editors
- The visits followed a major conference in Iraq yesterday on the subject of defeating terrorism. Review the full video stream from the event at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d9bKqOHs9M.
- Media images are available to download from https://www.flickr.com/photos/partyofeuropeansocialists/albums/72157676027589752
Review extensive social media discussion using the hashtag #Sulaimani.