ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The United Kingdom wants the Kurdistan Region to continue to be a strong and stable partner in the Middle East, a British official said on Monday.
James Thornton, the British Consul General in Erbil, made the comments in a meeting with Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Thornton met with the Kurdish leader to introduce himself as the new Consul General in Erbil.
The British official “expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the political process in the Kurdistan Region and the start of the new government, stressing that his country wishes the Kurdistan Region to be strong and stable,” a statement on the KDP leader’s website read.
Thornton also “wished to develop further relations between Britain and the Kurdistan Region,” it added.
Both sides also discussed the latest political developments in Iraq and the region, in general, especially as the so-called Islamic State threatens to reemerge.
One of the areas of discussion was Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution and the security situation in Kirkuk, a province disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq.
Article 140 is related to the status of disputed areas between Baghdad and Erbil. According to the article, a referendum was supposed to be held in these areas to determine if its residents want to be governed by the KRG or Iraq. However, no such vote has taken place yet.
Delegations from the Kurdistan Region and Iraq have met regularly in the last few months to resolve outstanding disputes, including those related to the contested areas.
“Relations between the Kurdistan Region and Britain were another focus of the meeting,” the statement concluded.