British foreign secretary meets Kurdistan Region president in Erbil

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (L) meets Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil, June 9, 2021.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil on Wednesday.

The British secretary arrived in the Kurdistan Region on Wednesday morning through Erbil international airport, following his one day-visit to Baghdad where he met with President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

“My visit here reflects the importance we in the United Kingdom attached to this historic friendship,” Raab said in a joint press conference with Barzani.

“We are very proud to be longstanding friends of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in the way you described … You’ve been an absolute fundamental in the battle against Daesh,” he added, referring to Islamic State (ISIS).

The British foreign secretary said he had discussed freedom of expression and media freedom with the Region’s president.

He further said Barzani would pay a visit to Britain later on this the year, adding that: “We look forward to seeing you in London and to strengthening even further this friendship between our governments.”

During his visit to Baghdad, Raab reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to Iraq through signing the UK and Iraq’s Strategic Partnership, a statement by the British foreign and commonwealth office said.

“The UK will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Government of Iraq as it works to rebuild from Daesh, make progress on reform, and deliver a more peaceful and hopeful future for its citizens,” Raab said.

“I am pleased we were able to sign the UK-Iraq strategic partnership today to further deepen and strengthen our friendship,” he added.

“The UK will provide £1 million of UK aid to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq ahead of the upcoming elections to help ensure a free and fair process for the Iraqi people.”

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