UK Ministers deliver keynote speeches at KRG’s first Kurds Conservatives Friendship Reception

London, UK, September 28th 2021

A delegation led by Mr Karwan Jamal Tahir, the Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the United Kingdom participated at this year’s Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. During the conference, High Representative Karwan attended high profile events and met with key decision makers in the party as well as international and business delegates.

The Conference offered the KRG Representation a dedicated space at the heart of the secure zone to hold a special occasion to celebrate the first Kurds Conservatives Friendship. The Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Minister of State (Minister for Middle East and North Africa) and honourable James Heappey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the Armed Forces) were guests of honour at the reception.

High Representative Karwan welcomed the guests and said:

“Conservative MPs and Conservative Governments have consistently been strong supporters of the Kurds and the Kurdistan region in peace and in time of utter need. For example, they were key allies in our fight and subsequent defeat of ISIS. We welcome the UK’s long-standing position on supporting the strength and resilience of our region from all sides. We look forward to standing side by side and tackling new and increasing threats, which is vital for our shared security.”

In his keynote address, honourable James Heappey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the Armed Forces) spoke of the UK’s military support to the Kurdistan Region and said:

“We have great friends in the KRI, James and I had the pleasure to visit together last December.” He added that: “the KRI faces the most barbarous threat and we are proud to help you with it, we are proud to train alongside you to prepare should those threats ever re-emerge but you are in a tough neighbourhood and the MOD is very proud to work alongside you.”

The Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education also reinforced the importance of maintaining a broad partnership between the UK and the Kurdistan Region based on shared strategic interests. He said:

“It is wonderful to see the KRG and Iraq being represented in the Conservative Party Conference. It was a privilege to welcome the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Barzani to the Department of Education, his visit was incredibly important to outline our plan to Mr Boris Johnson because our Prime Minister has also been to Kurdistan, has been a very much supporter of and an admirer of the beacon of a democracy that is emerging in Kurdistan.”

The reception was concluded by remarks from the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Minister of State (Minister for Middle East and North Africa), stating that:

“It is incredibly important the strengths of the relationship and if we were supportive of you in the northern no-fly zone all those years ago, you have reciprocated and returned with interest the support that you give to us.”

On the final day of the conference, High Representative Karwan also attended the Prime Minister’s speech which set out his levelling up agenda to unleash Britain’s potential.

High Representative Karwan was accompanied by both Mr Khasro Ajgayi, Director of Political Affairs and Media and Mr Hawre Yousef, Director of Trade and Investment at the KRG UK Representation.