UK's Middle East Minister in Iraq

British Minister of State for Middle Eastern Affairs, Alistair Burt arrived in Basra on Monday at the start of a three day visit to Iraq.

The Minister last visited Iraq in November 2010. He will use this visit to encourage progress in the political situation in Iraq, its relations with its neighbours, and the climate for business and investment.

Speaking shortly after his arrival in Basra, Mr Burt said:

"I am delighted to be returning to Iraq, a country that has embraced democratic reform and is demonstrating the value of this as change sweeps through the Middle East.

"Iraq continues to matter enormously to the UK. This visit is an opportunity to understand the challenges and opportunities facing Iraq, and lead to new ways in which the UK and Iraq can work together in a spirit of genuine partnership to achieve our mutual interests of security, stability, freedom and prosperity."

(Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

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