The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Dr Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, and the UK’s Minister for the Middle East and Africa, Tobias Ellwood, co-chaired the fourth and broadened meeting of the Iraq-UK Ministerial Trade Council, with the participation of the Kurdistan Regional Government, on 12 October 2016, at Lancaster House in London.
As agreed at the third meeting of the Iraq-UK Ministerial Trade Council in December 2015, the two governments broadened the discussion to encompass all bilateral issues including trade, energy, defence, education, investment, healthcare, reconstruction, infrastructure, finance, banking, economy, stabilisation in areas liberated from Daesh, and other bilateral issues.
The talks highlighted the strength of, and the importance attached to, the bilateral relationship. Both sides agreed to step up collaboration on trade and investment, security and migration, human rights and the fight against Daesh. They also committed to exploring additional joint efforts to support reforms, including economic reform, thereby helping to build a more stable, secure and prosperous Iraq.
The Chairs welcomed the extensive defence collaboration in the fight against Daesh and stressed the importance of effective political, humanitarian and stabilisation planning for Mosul and Ninewah.
Both sides welcomed the achievements by the international coalition and Iraqi troops in the war against Daesh, and the UK reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Iraqi-led effort to defeat Daesh in Iraq.
Both parties underlined the importance of continuing counter-terrorism cooperation following Daesh’s militarily defeat in Iraq. They agreed to build on the existing relationships between their agencies to tackle the evolving threat from terrorism to both countries.
Both sides affirmed their commitment to the global campaign to bring Daesh to justice. The campaign was launched by Foreign Minister Al-Jaafari, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the Belgian Foreign Minister in New York on 19 September. The UK and Iraq are working to bring the campaign into action. They envisage the campaign will be led by the UN, and, as a first step, include action to gather and preserve evidence of Daesh crimes.
The Chairs committed to continue to support efforts by British and Iraqi businesses to increase trade links and investment.
The UK and Iraq will explore joint efforts to tackle illegal migration, including through addressing the drivers of migration.
The Chairs also exchanged views on the recent political developments in both countries and agreed to continue the open dialogue shared by the two.
Discussions were conducted in a positive, constructive atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. The two countries looked forward to the 2017 UK-Iraq Ministerial Trade Council, to be held in Iraq.