Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne, UK Trade Envoy for Iraq and Iraq Britain Business Council’s (IBBC) Chairman, met Iraq’s new Prime Minister, Mr Haider al-Abadi, for wide-ranging talks during his visit to London this week.
Mr al-Abadi was attending the Lancaster House coalition conference on the situation with Da’esh (Islamic State) but was keen to make time to discuss trade and humanitarian issues with the Baroness.
The discussions, which were also attended by the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Dr Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the former British Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Simon Collis, and the IBBC’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Christophe Michels, were described as “warm and friendly”.
Baroness Nicholson congratulated the Prime Minister on his appointment and expressed her best wishes for the future.
Mr al-Abadi was keen to stress the strength of relations between Iraqi and UK trade and industry.
Baroness Nicholson, who had just returned from a visit to Basra, Al Amara, and Al Qurna, talked about the mission and the rapidly expanding IBBC portfolio of members.
Mr al-Abadi also congratulated Baroness Nicholson on the work of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation, which is heavily involved in the relief effort for the country’s two million internally displaced people (IDPs).
Following the meeting, the Baroness said she was extremely grateful to the Prime Minister for sparing his valuable time to meet her.
“Given the present challenging situation in Iraq, it was marvellous of Mr al-Abadi to find the time for this meeting. He is very interested in the work of both the IBBC and AMAR and understands the importance of both organisations to both his country and to the UK,” explained Baroness Nicholson.