Speaker Faiq and Deputy Speaker Hawrami hold video meeting with British MPs
Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Dr. Rewas Faiq and Deputy Speaker Hemin Hawrami held video meetings with MPs from the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Kurdistan Region (APPG). They briefed the British MPs on the political, economic, and health situation in Kurdistan, as well as relations between Kurdistan and the Iraqi Federal Government.
The UK Parliament’s APPG on Kurdistan Region comprises MPs who are friends of Kurdistan Region that raise issues related to Kurdistan in parliament and to the British government. The group visit Kurdistan Region every year and prepare an annual report on their findings.
In the video conference, Speaker Faiq said that the negotiations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad are ongoing to find an agreement on outstanding issues. She said that she hopes for the problems to be resolved within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution.
Speaker Faiq said that efforts to improve the economy continue, including the reform process which the KRG began to implement from early July. Kurdistan Parliament has been supporting the KRG’s reform agenda through legislation and oversight.
Dr. Faiq stressed that Kurdistan should not continue to rely on oil as its main source of income, and should strengthen other sectors, such as industry and agriculture.
Regarding the Coronavirus outbreak in Kurdistan Region, the Speaker said that the KRG has been able to control the situation to a good extent through measures to contain its spread and protect the public.
In Deputy Speaker Hawrami’s video conference call, he told the APPG that the Kurdistan Parliament continues to carry out its responsibilities during the Coronavirus pandemic, with the priorities being monitoring the KRG and drafting legislation that serves the public.
Regarding the economic situation in Kurdistan, the Deputy Speaker said that Kurdistan Region’s efforts to negotiate with Baghdad and reach a comprehensive agreement continue.
He said, “Of course, the issue of Kirkuk and the Kurdistani area outside the KRG’s administration is another focus of our talks with Baghdad."
Deputy Speaker Hawrami added that strengthening the private sector, particularly agriculture and industry, is one of the KRG’s key policies for economic development.
On the KRG’s reform agenda, Mr. Hawrami said that the process covers all sectors and will continue, and is considered important by all because the reforms will bring greater social justice.
The Deputy Speaker discussed Iran’s and Turkey’s military operations and shelling inside Kurdistan Region’s borders.
Regarding ISIS, he said that ISIS’s recent movements make security cooperation between the Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army essential in those areas.
The British MPs who participated in the video conference were the APPG’s Chair Robert Halfon (Conservative), Jack Lopresti (Conservative), Feryal Clark (Labour), as well as the group’s secretary Gary Kent and the KRG’s Representative in the UK, Karwan Jamal Tahir. Currently there are 16 MPs in the APPG.
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, this year instead of a visit the APPG is holding video conferences with institutions and individuals in Kurdistan Region. The group intends to produce a report on their findings.