London, UK – (KRG.org) - The Kurdistan Regional Government’s UK Representation jointly hosted a dinner for British members of Parliament on Monday with the Conservative Middle East Council (CMEC).
The guests of honour were Dr Ashti Hawrami, the KRG’s Minister for Natural Resources, and Baroness Morris of Bolton, Chair of CMEC.
The dinner was also attended by the MPs Richard Ottoway, Chair of the parliament’s Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mark Menzies, Nadhim Zahawi, Robert Halfon, and John Glen, who have an interest in Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East. Other guests included diplomats from the KRG UK Representation and British and Kurdish business and community leaders.
The event was an opportunity to deepen the understanding of Kurdistan among British parliamentarians and to allow them the chance to ask questions in an informal setting.
The Conservative prime minister John Major was instrumental in the UK and other allies establishing a safe haven and no-fly zone over Kurdistan in 1991 which allowed the Kurds to live outside of the immediate grasp of Saddam Hussein. The intervention in Iraq under the Labour prime minister Tony Blair is seen as a liberation by the people of Kurdistan who suffered genocide under the previous Iraqi regime. Kurdistan considers itself a friend and ally to Britain.
Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG’s High Representative to the UK, said, “Our diplomatic mission has good relations with the three main British political parties and engages with them and their members of parliament throughout the year. We are delighted to have co-hosted this event with CMEC and we invite members of CMEC to visit Kurdistan and see how the interventions by Sir John Major and later by Tony Blair have helped the region to advance.”
Dr Hawrami, speaking at the dinner, said, “The Kurdistan Region hopes to export oil and gas to Turkey and Europe in the future, after taking care of our domestic needs. This will contribute to the UK’s and Europe’s energy security and stability.
He added, “We welcome British companies in the oil and gas sector. We also hope to see direct flights between the UK and Kurdistan as this would encourage more trade between Britain and our region.”
Baroness Morris said, “I’m delighted that Minister Hawrami spoke to CMEC members and updated us on the political and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region.”