Tuesday, 01 May 2012, 07:27 GMT
British Ambassador concludes week long visit to Kurdistan


Britain's Ambassador and President Barzani/ KRG

KRG

Both sides discussed the current political crisis in Iraq,

Britain's Ambassador to Iraq on Friday concluded a one-week visit to the Kurdistan Region by meetingwith President Masoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. He visited all three of the Region's governorates, meeting students, officials and civil society representatives.

Ambassador Michael Aron met with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials and visited all three provinces of the Kurdistan Region to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Iraq as well as recent developments inthe Middle East as a whole. He also explored how to further develop the already strong links between the United Kingdom and the Kurdistan Region.

In his meeting with President Barzani, the British Ambassador said that he was impressed by the economic and educational progress taking place in Kurdistan, saying that the KRG's policies have clearly helped encourage business development and an influx of foreign investment in the Region.

President Barzani welcomed the Ambassador and thanked him for the important contributions of the British people and government toward the ongoing development of Kurdistan.

Both sides discussed the current political crisis in Iraq,and the President clarified the KRG's position on various issues related to it, emphasising the importance of adhering to the Iraqi constitution in order to ensure that Iraq does not return to its dictatorial past.

Ambassador Aron also met newly inaugurated Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, to talk about strengthening bilateral relations, and about Kurdistan's role in the changes happening throughout the Middle East.

Discussing areas of mutual cooperation in the meeting, the Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa said, "We are pleased with our close relationship with the people and government ofthe United Kingdom. Many of our students are now earning graduate degrees in Britain, and we welcome more British companies and entrepreneurs to come and share their experience and expertise with us as well."

The British Ambassador said that he was pleased to have the opportunity to see so much of the Region, saying that he particularly enjoyed visiting local universities and speaking with students there.

The British Consul General in Erbil Chris Bowers, who accompanied the Ambassador on his visit, spoke about the various projects that the UK government is supporting and promoting, and the involvement of British businesses in the Region as well.

British companies continue to be active and well represented in the Kurdistan Region, and more than half of the current scholarship recipients from the KRG's 100 million US dollar Human Capacity Development Programme (HCDP) are pursuing their postgraduate studies at universities in the UK.

The British Ambassador also met the Minister for the Interior Karim Sinjari, Minister of Natural Resources Dr Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research Dr Ali Saeed, the President's Chief of Staff Dr Fuad Hussein, as well as other officials and representatives.