Minutes of the EGM of the APPG on the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, 23 January 2016.

Attendance: Henry Smith MP, Ian Lucas MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Jack Lopresti MP, Ian Austin MP, Alistair Burt MP, David Burrowes MP, Mike Gapes MP, Kate Osamor MP, Rob Marris MP, Bob Stewart MP, John Woodcock MP, George Howarth MP, Ian Mearns MP

Others: Gary Kent, Director, Selina Short (Office of Jack Lopresti), Karwan Jamal Tahir, KRG High Representative to the UK, and Khasro Ajgayi of the KRG High Representation.

Apologies: Jason McCartney MP, Andrea Jenkyns MP, Lady Hodgson, Lord Glasman, Lord Bew, Mary Glindon MP, Danny Kinahan MP, Rosie Winterton MP, Tracy Brabin MP, Michael Gove MP, Liam Byrne MP, Tom Blenkinsop MP, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Stephen Metcalfe MP, Graham Jones MP.

1 Agreed to thank Jason McCartney MP for his service, appoint him as a Vice Chairman and to elect Henry Smith MP as the Chairman.

2 Agreed to co-sponsor with the Gulan organisation a photography exhibition in May in the Upper Waiting Hall.

3 Agreed to host, with the KRG High Representation a public meeting in March on the 10th anniversary of the APPG and to launch a report on the last delegation by the Director with an introduction by the Chairman.

4 The High Representative introduced a discussion on the current situation in the Kurdistan Region. The debate included the possibilities of independence and other foreign policy issues, the current UK visa regime, the need to update FCO travel advice concerning the Kurdistan Region, the need for a high-profile visit to the UK by the KRG President and/or Prime Minister, the continuing need for direct flights, the vacant position of the UK Consul-General in Erbil, and the need of the Peshmerga for heavy weapons including vehicles.

5 It was further agreed to establish an inquiry into the state of relations between Baghdad and Erbil to take evidence from the KRG and the Iraqi Ambassador, and perhaps to make this the focus of the next delegation to Kurdistan and Iraq later in the year.

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