APPG Chair urges urgent UN action on Erbil/Baghdad relations

The Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the APPG, today raised the issue of Kurdistan/Iraq relations in the Commons.

He said “Covid is bankrupting Iraq and the Kurdistan region. A stalled budget deal between Erbil and Baghdad is bleeding the Kurds dry, and public servants were not paid for half of last year. A Barnett-style revenue sharing formula and progress to resolve the status of the disputed territories are vital, as ISIL is regrouping in the no man’s land between Kurdistan and Iraq. Could the UK urge the United Nations to take a more active role between Erbil and Baghdad to help break the logjam so that they can stabilise their relations—and quickly?”

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Duddridge, replied.

“I thank my right hon. Friend for that question. We recognise the importance of securing a budget deal between Erbil and Baghdad. The UK continues to encourage both sides to work towards resolving their issues to get a sustainable budget solution, but also to solve internal boundary disputes. The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa discussed this with the Governments of Iraq and of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq during his visit in November and December. We regularly raise this in the United Nations and will continue to do so.”

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