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Head of UK parliament’s Kurdistan group welcomes Region’s progress

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Meg made a short visit to Kurdistan. The following is taken from the website of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

 

Erbil, Kurdistan Iraq (KRG.org) - Mrs Meg Munn, chairman of the British parliamentary group on the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, made her first visit to the Region last week, meeting with President Masoud Barzani, Speaker of Parliament Dr Kemal Kirkuki, and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Barham Salih.

Mrs Munn, who is Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley and has held two ministerial posts in the UK, also met with ministers, the governors of Erbil and Suleimaniah, the leadership of the opposition Change List, as well as representatives of British and Kurdish business communities, trades unions, media representatives, women, and the Christian community.

Mrs Munn was accompanied on the visit by Mr Gary Kent, administrator of the Kurdistan Group in the UK Parliament, which has members from the three main British parties. Mr Kent and Mrs Munn presented a seminar in the Kurdistan Parliament on the British parliamentary system including, for example, how laws are passed and the role of the opposition. The seminar was attended by about 60 MPs from various parties.

"This was my first visit to Kurdistan and I thank the Kurdistan Parliament for making it possible,” said Ms Munn, who also chairs the Westminster Foundation for Democracy which works to consolidate democratic practices and institutions. “It was good to meet many people, including Kurdistan’s leaders. I saw that they have made significant progress in the development of the Region and they have a strong desire to learn in areas where they feel they lag behind. I was especially pleased to see so much interest from the Kurdistani MPs in learning how the British Parliament works and I hope we will be able to share more best practice in the future.”

She added, "We discussed the forthcoming Iraq elections with the President and the Prime Minister. It is clear Iraq needs an accurate and credible census that will not only help in determining the correct levels of political representation, but also in planning for the economy, health and education. This may be another area where the UK can assist the people of Iraq. We are also determined to continue our efforts to encourage greater British trade with and investment in the Kurdistan Region, a message we heard loud and clear from everyone we met.”

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, said: “We appreciate the interest of British parliamentarians in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole and welcome such visits. We consider ourselves friends and allies of the United Kingdom, and the increasing number of exchanges is a reflection of our strengthening friendship. Increased international cooperation has already led to a variety of mutually beneficial projects in political, commercial, social and cultural spheres.”

Ms Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG’s High Representative to the UK, said, “With the Iraqi elections not far away, Mrs Munn and Mr Kent were able to gain further insights into the issues that matter to the people of the Kurdistan Region. They were also able see the reality on the ground, for example, how the Christian community lives peacefully in the Kurdistan Region, and what steps the KRG is taking on topics such as women’s rights and improving the lives of those who survived the Anfal genocide.”

 

Associated Photograph :

Meg with the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and Gary Kent.

Meg with the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and Gary Kent.


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