THERESA May has invited Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani to London for talks — but told him the UK still sees Kurdistan as part of Iraq.
کد خبر: ۷۵۴۸۷۱
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۲ آذر ۱۳۹۶ - ۰۹:۳۳ 13 December 2017

THERESA May has invited Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani to London for talks — but told him the UK still sees Kurdistan as part of Iraq.

In a phone call yesterday, the leaders discussed the Kurdish referendum, which resulted in 92 per cent support for the establishment of the first ever Kurdish nation state.

However, the Iraqi Supreme Court in Baghdad ruled the ballot unconstitutional and annulled all “consequences and results” of the referendum, with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi backing this ruling. His government had urged Kurdish leaders not to hold the vote.

Appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee last week, Karwan Jamal Tahir, high representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq to the United Kingdom, accused Westminster of having “let down” his people by lobbying against the referendum before it was held, and refusing to recognise the result. He also revealed that he had unsuccessfully approached May about inviting both Barzani and al-Abadi to London for talks in a “conducive environment”.

Yesterday a Downing Street spokesperson said May had now offered to host Barzani in London. However, the Prime Minister’s office said that her view on Kurdistan’s future as a region of Iraq had not changed. A spokesperson said: “Prime Minister May reiterated the UK’s continued respect for the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq.”

The statement continued: “Prime Minister May underlined the UK’s continued support for the Kurdistan Region and Kurdish people within a unified Iraq, while urging continued reform in the political, economic and security sectors to strengthen Kurdistan’s institutions and deliver for the Kurdish people.”

Following the referendum result, Baghdad closed regional airports. Downing Street said May and Barzani had “agreed on the importance of dialogue and negotiating an agreement over federal control, joint management of the borders and a resumption of international flights”.

The statement went on: “The Prime Minister said that she would be pleased to see Prime Minister Barzani in London in due course to make further progress on these matters.”

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