Readout of President Nechirvan Barzani’s comments and replies to reporters in London

“Britain willing to support the Kurdistan Region in many areas”

London, UK, September 16, 2021

After the last leg of his official trip to the United Kingdom, visiting the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on Friday, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani held a brief press conference in London and answered questions from the media. The following is a readout:

The President:

“As part of our trip to Britain, today we paid a visit to the British Royal Military Academy, (Sandhurst). We were pleased to find, among the participants in their program, two women from the Kurdistan Region to be proud of for what they are learning here. We hope that upon their return to Kurdistan, they will be able to make use of what they have learned here and apply it in the Ministry of Peshmerga. Hopefully, we can send more participants from the Ministry of Peshmerga to this academy to be educated. This is within the framework of the joint program with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

“As you know, in the past few days we came to London on an official visit, and we met with His Excellency the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Education who is Kurdish, as well as the Minister of Defense. The meetings all went very well. The relations of the Kurds and the Kurdistan Region with Britain are old. Since 1991, in the context of protecting the Kurdistan Region, Britain has played a major role in maintaining stability in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. We are very glad we came here again.

“In these meetings, we discussed in general the situation in Iraq, the elections and ways to advance relations between the Kurdistan Region and Britain, with the Prime Minister and with other officials. Hopefully we can progress with these relations. The subject of ISIS was a major issue in our meetings, as well as thinking about ways in which we can develop economic and commercial relations with Britain.”

On the position of the UK Prime Minister in the meeting, President Nechirvan Barzani said:

“Certainly, he reiterated his support to stability, security and progress of Iraq in general and the Kurdistan Region, and stressed that they will continue to support the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.”

In answering a question about Britain’s interest in the Kurdistan Region, the President said:

“As I mentioned, our relations are old, and stability in Iraq in general and in the Kurdistan Region within Iraq is an issue that concerns Britain. This visit was planned before the events in Afghanistan, but Britain certainly views the Kurdistan Region as an active member of the coalition against ISIS and a partner of Iraq, and I think that Britain sees the Kurdistan Region as a major part of Iraq that has an important role in the political and security and stability of the region.”

Regarding the areas in which Britain wants to help the Kurdistan Region, the President said:

“Britain wants to help the Kurdistan Region in many areas, and from what I have seen, it wants to help the region by uniting the Peshmerga forces, and it wants to help us in the economic field in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Also helping the Kurdistan Region in the field of education, these are the areas in which Britain wants to provide assistance, and we have talked about these issues during our meetings.”