The case for the UK Foreign Secretary going to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq

Thanks to Jack Lopresti MP, an APPG member, for his written parliamentary question below. It’s good that there are such conversations but recent reports from the APPG suggest that it is time for the Foreign Secretary to visit Kurdistan in real life and then invite the KRG leadership to pay an official visit to London. Other countries have sent ministers to Kurdistan and met its leadership. Moving to such visits would symbolise the importance to the UK of the Kurdistan Region and convey an important diplomatic message.

Question. “To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what meetings Ministers of his Department had with representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019; and if he will make a statement.”

Answer from James Cleverly, the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa. “The UK continues to have a close relationship with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, and our ministers and diplomatic representatives maintained regular contact with representatives of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq in 2018 and 2019. Current and former Foreign Secretaries and Ministers for the Middle East and North Africa have spoken with the KRG leadership including President Nechirvan Barzani. Most recently, I spoke to Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Masrour Barzani on 23rd September. The UK looks forward to continued close engagement with the KRG as a critical and valued partner in the region.”

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