Dr Ashti Hawrami is Minister for Energy Resources for the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) and will be speaking alongside Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt and Nadhim Zahawi MP at a fringe meeting on October 5th at the Conservative Party annual conference.
Iraq’s Kurds have a great and long-standing respect for Britain. In particular, we remember the role of Sir John Major in helping to establish the Kurdish safe haven in 1991 when millions were in grave danger. Now that the major British and American military role in Iraq has ended, Kurds want Britain to trade and engage with, not turn away from, Iraq’s emerging federal democratic state. We believe that Britain would benefit from a strategic political and economic partnership with Kurdistan and Iraq.
Our success will be your success. It will be vital for stability in the immediate neighborhood and could galvanise long overdue reform throughout the Middle East, whose potential is being wasted on a huge scale.
As Minister of Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, I will be at the Conservative party conference to discuss ways in which these goals can be met.
With trade the new focus of UK foreign policy, I believe that the Conservative-led coalition must strengthen Britain’s partnership with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq so that it can capitalize on our booming economy, energy resources and geostrategic importance, and so that it can maximise relations with its other allies in the region, such as Turkey.
Our message to British business is this: