British diplomat, Kurdish leader talk bilateral ties, ‘positive’ developments in Kurdistan Region
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – British Ambassador to Iraq Jon Wilks on Wednesday expressed his country’s readiness to further develop ties with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in a meeting with senior Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani in Erbil.
The British diplomat welcomed “the positive changes to the political process of the Kurdistan Region,” a statement from Barzani’s office read, adding that Wilks reiterated his country’s support for the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and its wishes to “develop its relations with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.”
Barzani reaffirmed the importance of the region’s bilateral ties with Britain and wished the newly appointed Consul-General to Erbil James Thornton – who was also present during the meeting – success in his new role in Erbil, the statement said.
The two sides also discussed the latest regional developments and the continued threat the so-called Islamic State poses in the region.
Ambassador Wilks and Thornton also attended another meeting earlier in the day between a British diplomatic and military delegation and KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, who was recently voted into office along with his cabinet.
The two sides had discussed the activities of Islamic State remnants in some parts of Iraq and ways to combat them, according to the prime minister’s press office. This is the first meeting with the UK envoy since Masrour Barzani’s appointment as the new prime minister of the autonomous Kurdistan Region on June 10.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24 last week, Thornton congratulated Prime Minister Barzani, stating that his diplomatic mission would prioritize the formation of a very close relationship with the Kurdish leader.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany