The British – Kurdistan Relations are improving
On 19 May, an official Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) delegation led by Nechirvan Barzani visited Britain and welcomed by the Foreign Minister and some other government officials and many representatives from the London municipality. Such an official visit to UK is considered an important and new step in the process of establishing diplomatic relations of the Kurdistan Region with the outside world. The UK is not only a decisive great state in the world and Europe, but it’s one of the countries that plays important role in making international decisions and policies. That’s why the Kurdistan Region is generally in need of developing such strategic, economic and cultural relations that are important factors behind building a tight and trustful future with the UK through which Kurdish question would head towards the right direction of gaining more trust of international community.
As I said, Britain is not only a militarily powerful and economically indispensable state in the world, but it’s a major decision maker in shaping the manner, methods and the future of the international policy. With regards to the East, Britain is considering itself a part of the political, cultural and administrative part of the Middle East, especially in Iraq where Britain played a major role in shaping this state in the 1920s. The visit of the KRG’s Prime Minister is considered an important initiative at the time the region is unstable and explosive. It’s not only Iraq which is going through crises, but the whole Middle East is facing crucial problems and tensions. The Kurdistan Region also has a share of these problems.
We should mention that Britain has the experience of how to deal with the history of Iraq. The British army and government know that Kurdistan is the victim of the international policy. So in a sensitive period like now which the Middle East is going through, it’s significant that the Kurdistan Region develops its political, economic, educational and cultural ties with Britain. This can surely include investment and production of oil, attracting the British companies to contribute to the construction of Kurdistan and the development of trade between the two countries.
In an official statement by the British foreign ministry, the Foreign Minister met with the Kurdish Prime Minister in London on 19 May, 2014 on his first official visit to the UK. William Hague said after the meeting: “We’re happy to receive Nechirvan Barzani, KRG Prime Minister. The visit is an occasion to express our happiness for the strong relations between the UK and Iraqi Kurdistan Region. We have established bilateral relations that include trading, education and culture. It’s also an occasion to insist on the interest of the UK to act as a favorite partner to Kurdistan in various sectors.”
He congratulated the Prime Minister for the achievements gained in the Kurdistan Region in the recent years and for the relative stability that the Region is enjoying despite the escalating violence in other areas of Iraq and the neighboring Syria. "We also had a discussion about the latest Iraqi elections and the coming steps towards forming a federal government," added the Foreign Minister. He also urged the Prime Minister and the Kurdish parties to show readiness to participate in the process.
Some important points were discussed here, including maintaining the partnership between Britain and Kurdistan Region; politically and strategically they appear as two states. That is why it’s vitally important that the bilateral relations are discussed on the first official visit. The development of the bilateral economic, educational and cultural relations is reiterated. The KRG delegation signed memorandum of understanding with several official institutions of the country for further cooperation between KRG and British Government. A joint committee is also to be formed for activating and reviewing the bilateral relations and the required steps needed for further development. The development of the economic, trading and tourism sectors also was discussed, adding to the diplomatic and political relations as well of course. The British Foreign Ministry mentioned the important role the Kurdistan Region has played in preserving the security and stability in an unstable Iraq. In addition, the positive role of the Kurdistan Region has been valued regarding the fear of the escalation of violence and terrorist activities in the neighboring Syria. Syrian refugees and their residence in Kurdistan was another topic of the discussions. These are important points that practically demonstrate the strong position of Kurdistan.
This important relation and the rapid and trustful growth that Kurdistan Region is witnessing should be mentioned with interest. The self-governing process of forming the new cabinet and the results of the April 30th elections in Iraq and the Provincial Elections in Kurdistan all these will strengthen the position of Kurdistan Region which already has an independent administration. That is why as we said, in a flammable Middle East, the self- government, developing democratic principles, returning to the logic of mutual understanding and respect in case of any political crisis, and keeping away from self-imposing and the refusal of the handing over of power, these all have enhanced the reputation of the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdish authority.
Nechirvan Barzani, who is nominated by KDP to form the KRG’s eighth cabinet, was assigned by Kurdistan Parliament on 20 May to form the new cabinet, which has been showing patience for more than seven months for making ground to a government of national unity. It’s worth mentioning that his deputy Qubad Talabani was a member of the delegation. Even though the disagreements were tough, but the making common cause with the others and co-working can be perceived within the KRG’s official delegation, which strengthen the ground for political, economical and trading development in Kurdistan. Britain also, feeling the atmosphere and the opportunity, urges many more companies and investors to work in Kurdistan. As we know Britain has a long history in the area. That’s why, in a new era, there is a joint future together between both sides, which could be summarized in some common points such as: antiterrorism and violence policy in the area, working for establishing peace and stability and coexistence, trading and economic interests, raising awareness of democracy and human rights. What is the most important is to build a stable, peaceful and democratic Iraq, in which Kurds play a vital role.