The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Falah Mustafa Bakir, welcomed members from the British All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Kurdistan Region.
The visit to the Department of Foreign Relations was part of a larger trip to the Kurdistan Region by the Parliamentary Group to meet political leaders and officials from a number of government and non-government organisations in order to further develop relations between the United Kingdom and the Kurdistan Region.
The British delegation congratulated the Kurdistan Regional Government on the passing of the annual budget of 2011 and MP Nadhim Zahawi stated: ‘I hope that this will lead to further developments in the Kurdistan Region, which continues to improve economically with every visit made by the All-Party Parliamentary Group to the Kurdistan Region.’
The delegation also asked about reforms in the Kurdistan Region and drew attention to the fact that reforms still take place to improve the democratic system in the United Kingdom. Mr Bakir confirmed that, ‘The Kurdistan Regional Government welcomes feedback from its international friends in order to improve its own democratic development.’
Minister Bakir also discussed the general political, economic and security developments in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole during the meeting and briefed the group on the recent visit to the Region by former British Prime Minister Sir John Major. He expressed the gratitude of the KRG for the role played by the United Kingdom in establishing the no-fly zones in 1991 that helped stop the massacres of the Kurdish people by the Ba’athist regime at the time.
The goal of the British APPG on the Kurdistan Region is to promote friendship and understanding between the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the United Kingdom and to encourage the development of democratic institutions in the Kurdistan Region as part of the federal democratic system throughout Iraq. The APPG is comprised of 20 members of the UK parliament.
The British delegation, which was accompanied by the KRG UK Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, was made up of MPs Meg Munn, Nadhim Zahawi, and Robert Halfon as well as UK Parliamentary advisor Gary Kent and journalist John Mc Ternan.
The group recently worked with the KRG UK Representation to host a meeting in London of experts on genocide, international law, chemical weapons and the media in order to make recommendations on how to gain international recognition and justice for the genocide in Kurdistan. As part of this visit they intend to meet with representatives from both the ruling and opposition parties in order to address issues such as their respective roles in a well functioning democracy.