Heading a delegation of advisors, UK Minister for the Middle East and Northern Africa, Tobias Ellwood, discussed with Kurdistan Region senior officials the issues related to the phase after eliminating the Islamic jihadists from Mosul.
According to separate statements issued by Kurdistan Region Presidency and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Ellwood on Wednesday visited Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani in his office in Pirman (Erbil vicinity) and KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil.
The UK delegation, which also included UK Ambassador to Iraq Frank Baker, stressed that after securing Mosul from the Islamic state (IS) organization, Nineveh province should be jointly supervised by Erbil and Baghdad administrations and all the components of Nineveh should have a part in running their areas.
Ellwood also voiced his country’s willingness to support the efforts for resolving Kurdistan Region’s internal issues as well as KRG’s disputes with Baghdad.
According to the statements, the delegation also valued the role of Peshmerga in the war against IS and made reference to the “positive” role of KRG and Kurdish people for hosting nearly 2.5 million IDPs and refugees.
The UK continues supporting the Peshmerga forces, the statements cited the delegation as saying.
During the meeting, PM Barzani stated that KRG is ready to offer assistance and coordination for governing Mosul after the IS war.
At the same time, he blamed Baghdad administration for not supporting his government in the battle against terrorism as well as hosting the IDPs, calling on the international community to offer more assistance to Kurdistan.
Barzani also spoke about the “serious dialogues” that the political parties in Kurdistan are engaged in for identifying the future status of their region through an independence referendum.
KRG PM reiterated that regardless if Kurdistan is destined to declare independence from Baghdad or stay within Baghdad’s authority, it hopes for “the best relations with Baghdad.”