London, United Kingdom (uk.gov.krd), The Head of Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), HE Safeen Dizayee briefed the British MPs and Lords in a virtual roundtable discussion organised by the KRG UK Representation in partnership with the Kurdish Progress to debate a range of matters, including the Political, security and economic developments in Kurdistan and the wider region.

HE Safeen Dizayee spoke of the historical developments in the Kurdistan Region, mainly in its relations with Iraq. He expressed the KRG’s willingness to resolve the ongoing disagreements with the Federal Government within the framework of the constitution.  He also underscored the agreement between Iraq’s Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government on the status of the Shingal district to restore security and facilitate the return of displaced people to their homes after years of displacement.

In term of the relationship with Turkey, HE Safeen Dizayee emphasised on the KRG’s commitment to have friendly relations with all neighbouring states. He said: “Kurdistan Region’s territory should not be used to launch attacks on any country.

On the KRG bilateral relations with the UK, HE Safeen Dizayee also spoke of the successful visit by James Cleverly, Minister of State for the Middle East & North Africa at FCDO to the Kurdistan Region where opportunities were discussed to expand on the bilateral relationship, most notably in the sectors of culture, trade, and tourism.

The Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the United Kingdom, Mr Karwan Jamal Tahir also participated in the discussion and explored various aspects of the bilateral relationship between both sides. He also stated that “2020 has been a challenging year for Kurdistan and the world.” With regards to the relations with the Federal Government, he underlined the need for the UK support in facilitating the negotiation process between the KRG and the Federal Government in order to reach a fair and comprehensive agreement.

High Representative Karwan also added: “Although we live in a tough neighbourhood, still we in Iraq have to get our policy right, institutionalise our government’s structure and strengthen them, that would reduce the vulnerability and exposure to shocks. Then we have to balance our bilateral and multilateral relationship, form positive relations with neighbouring country based on mutual interest and respect of sovereignty.”

Mr Tahir also welcomed UK approval of first Covid-19 vaccine and praised this important step in saving lives and preventing the spread of the virus. He also pointed to the recent successful Economic Forum on Kurdistan in London where the KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani delivered a keynote speech on the current diversification strategies and the targets set out in the KRG’s vision to provide a stable path for equitable growth and development.

The briefing was also debated by the MPs and Lords the including, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Feryal Clark MP, Khalid Mahmood MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Angus B MacNeil MP, Chris Stephens MP, Steve Reed MP, Mary Foy MP, Karl Turner MP, Bambos Charalambous MP, John McDonnell MP, Mary Kelly Foy MP, Lord Glasman, Lord David Watts, Baron Watts, Simon Dubbins, Director of international & research at the Unite the Union, Gary Kent , Secretary APPG Kurdistan Region in Iraq and Khasro Ajgayi, the Director of political Affairs and Media at the KRG UK Representation.