ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Strengthening bilateral trade and economic modernization led talks on Monday between Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and a British trade delegation.
The British team was from the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) headed by its chairman Baroness Emma Nicholson, who is also the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) office said on Monday.
The two sides “discussed strengthening bilateral trade relations between the Kurdistan Region and the United Kingdom.” Barzani outlined the KRG’s “plans to modernize the Kurdistan Region’s economy, including through increasing local production and export levels and building up capacity in the service industry.”
He also highlighted his government’s “commitment to working with partners such as the Iraq Britain Business Council to develop the Kurdistan Region into a preferred destination for investors.”
“Baroness Nicholson expressed the UK’s support for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s plans to diversify its economy and expand its sources of revenue, especially through the new government’s focus on transforming the agriculture and industry sectors.”
Earlier in the day, the Kurdish prime minister met with a US House of Representatives delegation, headed by congressman Adam Smith, to discuss ties between Erbil and Washington as well as recent developments in the area.
They “discussed how to work together with the Kurds in resolving a lot of tensions in Iraq and Syria,” Representative Adam Smith (D, Washington) said during a press conference following the meeting. “The big point is we are strong allies, and we will continue to be strong allies,” he affirmed.
Smith added that “the United States Congress did not stand with Trump’s decision to retreat from Syria as we are standing with the Kurds,” in reference to a decision last month by US President Donald Trump to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria and allowing Turkey to launch an incursion in the area against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany