UK to Upgrade Erbil Office to Full Consulate

The British Minister also congratulated President Barzani on his critical role in breaking the deadlock over the formation of the Iraq government.

President Barzani thanked the UK government for its decision to upgrade their Embassy Office and described it as an important step toward further improving bilateral relations in various fields including energy, commerce, agriculture, tourism, industry and education.

On the plight of Christians in Iraq who have been targeted by terrorists, President Barzani repeated that the Kurdistan Region is prepared to provide them with refuge until the security situation improves in other parts of Iraq.

“Christians fleeing violence in other parts of Iraq are welcome in the Kurdistan Region and we will do all we can to help them with security and shelter, however, we would also need assistance from Baghdad and the international community to address their needs if the numbers are high and if they have to stay here for a long period,” said President Barzani, urging Christians at the same time to avoid leaving Iraq. Minister Burt commended the offer by the President and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The President and the British Minister also discussed women’s rights in the Kurdistan Region. President Barzani said the figures given in the media are unclear and sometimes exaggerated, but that the KRG takes the matter very seriously and has taken many measures to combat this practice leading to visible improvements. Separately yesterday, Mr Burt spoke at a press conference to commend the KRG for commissioning pioneering research on honour-based violence. The universities of Bristol and Roehampton in the UK were among the organisations to carry out the two-year study.

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