Chancellor Masrour Barzani receives British Minister for Middle East and Africa

Chancellor Masrour Barzani received today the British Minister for the Middle East and Africa, Mr. Tobias Ellwood, to discuss bilateral relations, political and military developments and the anti-ISIL campaign in Iraq.

Both officials emphasised the importance of continued engagement to address political differences that preceded the war on ISIL. Chancellor Barzani said, ‘Mistrust remains Iraq’s biggest problem. The defeat of ISIL represents an opportunity to consider long-term, realistic solutions that can address Iraq’s unending conflict.’

They also touched on internal political differences in the Kurdistan Region. Chancellor Barzani made clear that the region will hold a referendum on independence: ‘This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s time for us to hear the people’.

Minister Ellwood cited UK’s recent decision to continue capacity and military support for Peshmerga forces, and called on the political factions to resolve ongoing political disagreements to focus on reform. He said, ‘We hold you in high standards; you could be a flourishing example of democracy.’

Both agreed to strengthen the already close partnership between the Kurdistan Region and the United Kingdom in the global fight against terrorism.

The British Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Frank Baker, and KRG’s Representative to the United Kingdom, Mr. Karwan Jamal, attended the meeting.

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