Prime Minister Meets with UK Ambassador; reinforces that efforts to enforce demographic change in Syria are unacceptable

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) – Prime Minister Masrour Barzani today received the outgoing Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Iraq, Jon Wilks.

As they discussed the latest developments in Iraq and Syria, Ambassador Wilks recognised the leadership of Prime Minister Barzani in prioritising economic development and prosperity in the Kurdistan Region. He also praised the new Kurdistan Regional Government’s efforts in driving forward its ambitious reform agenda.

Ambassador Wilks acknowledged the Kurdistan Region’s unrelenting hospitality, noting that despite receiving around two million refugees and IDPs in the past few years, its doors have remained open and it is already welcoming refugees fleeing from north eastern Syria.

Prime Minister Barzani and Ambassador Wilks highlighted the need to de-escalate the current situation in northern and north eastern Syria to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe. The two officials denounced any efforts aimed at changing the demography of the region, which they agreed would further escalate instability in the area.

Soon to serve as the United Kingdom Ambassador to Qatar, Ambassador Wilks echoed Prime Minister Barzani’s calls for the international community to provide increased humanitarian support. Ambassador Wilks acknowledged the need for additional support as the Kurdistan Region, a safe haven to 1.1 million refugees and IDPs fleeing conflict and persecution, prepares for a new wave of displacement.

Prime Minister Barzani thanked the outgoing Ambassador for his work in Baghdad and provided an update on the ongoing efforts to maintain constructive dialogue with the federal government of Iraq in order to build a stable partnership that recognises the Kurdistan Region’s rights under the constitution.