'UK sees Kurdistan as strong, trustworthy partner': University Professor
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani's visit to the United Kingdom was the most important visit an official from the Kurdistan Region, or Iraq has made to a foreign country, Doctor Mohammed Ehsan, a university professor and political analyst, said on Thursday.
"The visit is important because the UK is not a normal country, it is a prominent country in the world," Ehsan told Kurdistan 24.
He noted that since Britain left the European Union, it has taken on a more independent foreign policy.
Another important aspect of Barzani's official visit, according to Ehsan, was the fact that, in addition to meeting his British counterpart Boris Johnson, he had meetings with various senior ministers and government officials.
"This combination of meetings that Barzani had during his visit to the UK made the visit very important," he said, adding that the prime minister's speech at the world-leading policy institute Chatham House was also significant.
Following Barzani's meeting with Prime Minister Johnson on Tuesday, the British government issued a statement highlighting some of the important topics the two leaders discussed.
"The leaders highlighted the strength of their relationship, recognizing the UK's deep ties with the Kurdish people," read the statement. "They noted the significant opportunities for greater partnerships across trade and investment."
Acknowledging the ongoing challenges to regional security, Johnson voiced his enduring commitment to the stability of Iraq and counter-terror operations against ISIS.
"Prime Minister Barzani spoke about his aspiration to export energy to Europe, and the Prime Minister lauded his efforts to help reduce Western reliance on Russian oil and gas," read the statement. "The Prime Minister updated Prime Minister Barzani on his recent visit to Kyiv and reiterated the need for the international community to continue to push back against Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine."
Ehsan pointed out that London plays a significant role in the Middle East, going so far as to say the international community cannot make any decision on the future of the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, and the broader region without the UK.
"The UK sees the Kurdistan Region as a strong and trustworthy partner for the future of energy and stability in the Middle East," he added.