Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, APPG Chair, asked the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the long-term effect on (a) UK foreign policy and (b) bilateral relations with the Kurdistan Region of the 1991 decision to initiate a safe haven and no-fly zone over the Kurdistan Region.
Middle East Minister, Rt Hon James Cleverly. Answered on 22 February 2021
UNSCR 688, and the subsequent initiation of no-fly zones over the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) represented a historic moment for Iraqi Kurds, and for the UK-KRI partnership. The no-fly zones provided a crucial security umbrella to protect the Kurdish people, and to promote stability in the region. In the years since, we have further strengthened our relationship with the KRI. Many of their interests and values align with our own: a belief in diversity, tolerance, and publicly stated commitment to preventing extremism are some examples. The UK will continue to play its part in supporting the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to build a more peaceful, more prosperous future.