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The Englishman

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  1. We want the world to stump up all this cash so we can rebuild our country, then once we have achieved this, we are going to have a massive political internal fallout and bomb the whole lot down again, rinse and repeat is almost guaranteed i tell yee.
  2. Kurdistan Russia, Iraq reach agreement on Russian investment in Kurdistan Baxtiyar Goran | 2 hours ago Share share Workers stand next to a logo of Russia's Rosneft oil company at the central processing facility of the Rosneft-owned Priobskoye oil field outside the West Siberian city of Nefteyugansk, Russia, Aug. 4, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin) Kurdistan Russia Iraq ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister on Saturday said his country had reached a deal with the Iraqi government to support the work of Russian companies in the Kurdistan Region. Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East, stated that the Iraqi government had expressed its readiness to lift restrictions affecting Russian companies due to disputes between Erbil and Baghdad. According to Bogdanov, the Iraqi government would help the Russian oil companies in Iraq resolve operational issues created due to the restrictions Baghdad imposed on the Kurdistan Region following an independence referendum last September. Bogdanov reiterated Moscow’s stance on supporting the work of Russian firms in Kurdistan, adding that “Russian companies will continue operating in Iraq and the autonomous Kurdistan Region.” “All the operational problems created due to the restricting measures imposed on Erbil have been resolved in one way or another in coordination with the Iraqi federal authorities,” Bogdanov explained. He also noted that Iraq was aware of the difficulties foreign businesses working in the country faced. A few major Russian oil firms are currently operating in the Kurdistan Region, including Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil. During an annual end-of-year press conference in late 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country shared important, long-term relations with the Kurds. “Our relations with Kurdistan and the Kurds are historical, long-term, and good and [we share] a good trust,” Putin told reporters. “Our companies, especially Rosneft, are working in the [Kurdistan Region],” the Russian President continued. “We believe this will benefit Iraq, Kurdistan, and, in particular, it benefits the Russian economy.” Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
  3. Baghdad to investigate biometric record of KRG employees By Rudaw 42 minutes ago . ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A financial oversight committee from the Iraqi government is in the Kurdistan Region to audit the biometric registration of KRG employees. The committee will compare its findings with those of others reviewing KRG ministries in order to pay one month salaries for select ministries while audits are ongoing. The committee from Iraq’s financial watchdog arrived in Erbil with orders from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to conduct an audit of the KRG’s biometric program that was introduced in 2016 and went live last October as part of the reforms package introduced by the government. “The committee will write a quick report so that based on that report one salary of the employees of the Ministries of Education and Health can be paid until the auditing process is completed,” Dr. Viyan Mohammed, director of planning in the Ministry of Health, told Rudaw. Abadi sent the committee to the Kurdistan Region on the request of the Kurdish factions in Baghdad following their meeting with him last week, when they asked him to accelerate the process of paying KRG salaries. The Iraqi government formed ten sub-committees that they have sent to the Kurdistan Region to look into the payroll records. Some are tasked with looking at the list of employees while others will conduct field work to find any ghost employees and ensure the number of employees on location is not excessive. Another committee has started auditing the employee list of the KRG’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources. The KRG has not been able to fully pay the salaries of its employees after facing financial hardship when Baghdad cut its budget share in 2014, coupled with a drop in oil prices. Its revenues were further slashed by about half following the loss of Kirkuk’s oil fields to Iraq in mid-October. Abadi has said they are willing to play the salaries of the Region’s employees but they need to ensure the funds go to deserving individuals.
  4. I can see there has been a couple of posts highlighting that the international community may restrict help to Iraq if the budget does not get resolved, below is a article stating the IMF will withdraw funds if the Baghdad, Kurdistan budget percentage is not addressed. Granted it is a Kurdish MP Haider Masoud who has made this claim, but i have read a couple of other articles expressing the same outcome. If true, and i suspect it is, then Abadi is under pressure in more ways than he would like. It may well need this type of threat from the international community to get issues sorted, as it cant go one for ever!!!! A negative article that could well bring such positive results. http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/economy/world/411550. IMF Urges Baghdad on Full Budget for Erbil Basnews English 31/01/2018 - 20:25 World ERBIL — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has obliged the Iraqi government to send sufficient budget to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said a lawmaker. "The international Monetary Fund has urged Iraqi Federal government on sending not less than 10 billion IQD to Erbil since the region cannot function if the amount of the budget is smaller than this,” said MP Haider Masoud. “Meanwhile the IMF warned of stopping their funds if Iraq refuses to deal with the KRG in accordance with their conditions,” Masoud added.
  5. Iraq to send more Kirkuk oil to Kurdistan’s refineries By Rudaw 23 minutes ago A worker checks pipelines at Kirkuk's Bai Hassan oil field after control of the site was taken by Iraqi forces in October. File photo: AFP ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi oil ministry plans to increase crude oil flow from Kirkuk to Kurdish refineries despite Iraqi lawmakers opposing the move with a ban earlier this month. The Kirkuk-based North Oil Company plans to nearly double the allocation of oil to refineries owned by the Erbil-based KAR Group, a sign of increasing cooperation between the Iraqi oil ministry and the Kurdistan Region, as reported by Iraqi Oil Report on Tuesday. The Iraqi parliament banned Erbil-based oil and gas KAR Group from operating oil fields in Kirkuk in early January. With a majority vote on January 8, parliament passed the motion banning KAR Group and assigned state-owned North Oil Company to take over oil production in the province and export it through the Iraqi marketing company (SOMO). KAR Group had failed to reach an agreement with Iraqi authorities over the operation of the oil fields that were under Kurdish control following the rise of ISIS in 2014 until mid-October when the disputed areas came under Baghdad’s control. The Kurdish company withdrew its staff and locked their facilities in the oilfields when Iraqi forces, supported by Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitaries, drove the Peshmerga out of the area in response to Kurdistan’s independence vote. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) revenues have been slashed by about half since the loss of Kirkuk, further worsening the Region’s financial crisis caused by Iraqi budget cuts since early 2014, low oil prices, and the war against ISIS. The parliament also mandated an investigation into exports from the formerly KRG-controlled oil fields and bank accounts that received revenues from oil sales. The legislature tasked various parliamentary committees, including energy and finances, with the inquiry. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi criticized the Kurdish oil sales on several occasions, often releasing numbers different from those released by the KRG's Ministry of Natural Resources. KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani urged Baghdad to check all the numbers concerning the oil and gas audit. “If Baghdad is interested to learn about the numbers and what have we done, we are ready for the Iraqi government and parliament to come and any side to put all the data before them as we have wanted to have an extreme level of transparency,” Barzani said in early January. The KRG signed an agreement with Deloitte, the largest professional and financial services company in the world, to conduct an audit of the Kurdistan Region’s oil production, exportation, and revenues at the end of 2016. Bringing Deloitte in is part of the KRG’s economic reform plan and to increase transparency in the oil sector. Deloitte stated in its financial report released on January 16 that they found no "misstatements" of the KRG's oil exports, consumption, or sales for the first half of 2017. The data for the second half of 2017 will be published in the near future, the KRG said, adding it "considers the auditing process as an important step for strengthening transparency in the oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Region." "The KRG has approved Deloitte's recommendations to further enhance the processes and address any shortcomings," the statement added. The firm will also be auditing oil production and sales for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources stated on Tuesday that an audit by Ernst and Young of bonuses paid to the KRG by international oil companies will also be released soon. Erbil and Baghdad have yet to decide on issues like oil exports and the KRG’s budget share that could help the Region to recover from its financial crisis.
  6. Iraqi parliament votes to lift sanctions on Kurdistan banks By Rudaw 1 hour ago The Central Bank of Iraq imposed the sanctions against the Kurdish banks in November introduced after the Kurdish vote on independence. Photo: Rudaw BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Iraqi parliament on Monday voted to lift sanctions imposed on Kurdish banks in November by the Iraqi Central Bank following the Kurdistan Region’s referendum. Masud Haidar, a Kurdish MP from Gorran, told Rudaw that the motion came at the request of his faction. Ziz Kazim, an Iraqi MP from the Hikma faction, said that the parliament voted to end the measures taken against the financial institutions in the Kurdistan Region. He said the motion “commits” the Central Bank of Iraq to end the sanctions, adding that the bank has to provide monthly reports regarding the practice of its powers in the Kurdistan Region. In November, the Central Bank of Iraq called on all Iraqi banks in the country to halt their operations in the Kurdistan Region indefinitely. It stated then that any bank that found in violations of the instructions would no longer receive foreign currency transfers from the central bank. The move was seen as part of punitive measures taken by the government of Iraq against the Kurdistan Region in response to the vote for independence held on September 25 despite the opposition of Iraq, neighboring countries, and others including the United States. The first reading of the Iraqi budget for 2018 also took place on Monday despite a boycott by the Kurdish and some Sunni MPs. The Kurdistan Region has demanded 17 percent of the budget — as has been the case since the foundation of the new Iraq after the US invasion in 2003 — while the Iraqi government insists on a lower share, as low as 12.6 percent, arguing that amount represents a “fair” share compared to the Kurdish population. Haidar said that all Kurdish MPs boycotted the session when the first reading was tabled even though it was not in the agenda. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is supposed to meet with the finance committee of the Iraqi parliament, and the heads of faction following the first reading, Haider said, adding that the premier is prepared to listen to the demands of the Kurdish MPs. Iraq to send $210 million to Kurdistan for salaries Last updated at 3:45 p.m.
  7. Iraq sends $210 million to Kurdistan for salaries By Rudaw 28 minutes ago Photo shows Kurdish employees prepare the list of their employees in the health department to be sent to the Iraqi government. Photo: Halabja health department BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Iraqi government has decided to send the Kurdistan Region 250 billion Iraqi dinars (about $210 million) for the salaries of Kurdish state employees, particularly the health and education ministries, two ministries whose payroll lists are being audited by the Iraqi Central Government, a Kurdish MP told Rudaw. A source from the Kurdish finance ministry also told Rudaw on Monday that they have received the money from Baghdad but he said they have yet to receiver orders from the Iraqi government on whether to spend it. Masud Haidar, a Gorran MP who is sitting on the finance committee of the Iraqi parliament, said the Iraqi government's order to the central bank was issued. He added that he is in constant contact with people relevant to the audit of the Kurdish salaries. “They reaffirmed today that orders have been issued in order to spend 250 billion dinars from the amount that is already in the bank account of the Kurdistan Regional Government [in Baghdad],” Haidar said. Rudaw earlier reported that the Central Bank of Iraq has opened a bank account for the Kurdistan Region and deposited 450 billion dinars(approximately $380 million) into it. The Iraqi government has sent a number of audit committees to the Kurdistan Region to audit the payroll list of the two ministries. They finished their work at the headquarters of the two ministries based in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, and are supposed to visit health and educations departments of the Kurdish provinces including Erbil, Sulaimani and Duhok. Haidar said that the audit so far is going well, and that Iraqi-appointed committees have found “no problems” as of yet. The two ministries have the largest number of employees after the Ministry of Peshmerga. The Kurdistan Region have faced difficulties to pay the salaries of its 1.249 million people on its payroll in full or in time, something that caused protests on different occasions including in December. The Iraqi government cut the KRG’s share of the budget since early 2014 following the Kurdish plans to export oil independent of Iraq to the international market. Iraqi parliament votes to lift sanctions on Kurdistan banks
  8. KRG PM refutes Iraqi government’s remarks over oil export Baxtiyar Goran | An hour ago Share share Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani speaks to reporters in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 25, 2018. (Photo: Kurdistan 24) Kurdistan Erbil Baghdad Relations Nechirvan Barzani ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Thursday refuted remarks made by his Iraqi counterpart’s office about the handover of Kurdistan’s oil exports exclusively through the state-run SOMO company. Speaking to the press in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum (WEF), KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said he had a “productive meeting” with Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, and that both sides would hold another meeting next week. The Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office, however, issued a statement following the meeting claiming the KRG had agreed to hand over oil exports to Iraqi authorities. During his speech on Thursday, Abadi reiterated that same point. Responding to the Iraqi government’s claims, Prime Minister Barzani said that “the statement they [Iraqi PM's office] issued is far from the truth, we did not even discuss the matter [oil dossier] at all, and they should not have issued such a statement.” “The Kurdistan Region’s position is clear; we want to resolve all issues within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution,” the KRG Prime Minister affirmed. “We had several meetings with world leaders, including a short meeting with Abadi, on the sidelines of the WEF in Davos,” Prime Minister Barzani told reporters. The Prime Minister added that reopening Kurdistan’s airports, the salary payment of KRG employees, dams, and updates on the committees formed to resolve the pending issues was discussed during the meeting with Abadi. “We have agreed to hold another meeting next week to discuss the oil dossier to resolve the issues,” Barzani stated, noting that “we cannot expect all problems to be resolved at once.” He mentioned that the disputes between Erbil and Baghdad were “big,” but it was possible to resolve all matters related to salaries and airports before Iraqi elections are held in May. Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
  9. Sorry all, but reports are coming out that this is not true, ( if we really thought it would be that easy ) http://www.rudaw.net/english/world/250120181. Though progress is being made, there appears to still be a significant gap between the two sides, made evident by their separate interpretations of their discussions. "What they have said in the statement is in fact untrue. We never talked about such things," Barzani asserted about Abadi's comments on oil.
  10. Barzani, Abadi meet in Switzerland By Rudaw 2 hours ago Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani talking in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday. Photo: KRG DAVOS, Switzerland – KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday. “In a short meeting… the latest trends of discussions between KRG and Iraqi federal government committees were discussed, and [both sides] stressed the continuation of the work of the committees to resolve issues. Both sides expressed their commitment to dialogue and the resolution of issues on the basis of the Iraqi constitution,” read a statement from the KRG. They also touched on the issue of oil. Managing oil, and its revenues, is a recurring problem between Erbil and Baghdad. The central government stopped sending funds to the KRG when Kurdish leaders proposed exporting oil independently. The two sides “decided that the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and KRG Ministry of Natural Resources will hold a special meeting on how to export oil that has been suspended for a while and reach an agreement [on the issue],” the KRG’s statement read. As the two governments have resumed relations and begun the difficult process of resolving their issues, Baghdad wants to exert federal control over oil and Erbil wants financial guarantees if it agrees to send oil revenue to central coffers. How to handle the rich oil reserves in the disputed province of Kirkuk, that were suspended after Iraq took control of the province, is also a sticking point. As Iraq is looking to rebuild its economy and infrastructure after the war with ISIS, OPEC has seen a "renewed vigor" reconstructing the oil and gas sector under Abadi’s government, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo told Rudaw’s Hemin Lihony in Davos. "We in OPEC are very proud of [that]," he added. Responding to a question about the KRG's contribution to Iraq's success, Barkindo said "Iraq is the dutiful, rightful representative in OPEC." Iraq, as a founder and the birthplace of OPEC and currently its second-largest producer, was described by Barkindo as a "very important" member. OPEC has seen a “gradual but steady rebalancing of the market” after concerted efforts from member states to address oversupply. "We are not yet declaring victory,” he said, explaining that they do not have a price goal. "Our prime objective remains assisting the market to bring it back to balance, which has eluded us for the past several years and we are confident, satisfied that we are on cause." The Davos forum brings together world, business, and industry leaders, making it a good opportunity to look at the issue of equality, Anne Mitaru, policy and campaigns manager of Oxfam in Erbil, told Rudaw English this week. “A lot of those decisions between political heavyweights, economic heavyweights, and other heavyweights, changes how people live, how much they have access to food, how much they have access to water, how much they pay for clothes and other things,” she said, noting that “a lot of power resides with the people who go to Davos.” These power players must consider not just one country, she asserted, but ensure benefits from the meeting are shared with people around the world. Earlier in the day, Barzani met with Jordanian King Abdullah and Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan. Updated at 11:45 pm
  11. On the back of the article i have just posted a tweet confirming a payment made by Baghdad. Rudaw English‏Verified account @RudawEnglish 2h2 hours ago More #Breaking: Baghdad has sent a payment of 450 billion dinars (approx $380mn) for KRG public salaries: finance ministry source The thawing between the two sides is clearly gaining momentum and is looking very promising for the future.
  12. Iraqi PM reiterates promise to pay salaries of Kurdistan employees following ‘positive’ meetings Karzan Sulaivany | 38 minutes ago Share share Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi delivers his weekly press conference in Baghdad, Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo: Iraqi PM's office) Iraq Kurdistan Referendum Haider al-Abadi ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday expressed his desire to resolve all differences with Kurdistan, adding he was serious about paying the salaries of employees in the Region. “The atmosphere is positive with the Kurdistan Region, and we have a desire to resolve all outstanding differences between the two sides,” Abadi said during his weekly press conference in Baghdad. “Committees have been formed, and dialogue regarding border crossings, airports, salaries, and other matters are continuing,” he added. “The brothers in the Region demonstrated their willingness to cooperate with us.” On Monday, a delegation from the Iraqi government, consisting of 19 officials, arrived in Erbil to discuss the international flight ban on the Kurdistan Region’s airports, disputes over the control of border crossings, oil exports, and revenue sharing. In a joint statement, the Iraqi and Kurdistan Region delegations revealed that five separate bilateral meetings were held on the matters mentioned above. Karim Shingali, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Minister of Interior, noted that the meetings were “good and successful,” adding the two delegations “reached very good agreements on the outstanding issues.” Relations between the Iraqi government and the KRG considerably deteriorated following Kurdistan’s Sep. 25 independence referendum. Although an overwhelming majority voted for statehood, Baghdad responded by imposing collective punitive measures against the Region including an international flight ban and the use of military force in disputed areas. Senior Kurdistan Region officials continue to urge the Iraqi government to avoid violence and begin negotiations to address their differences peacefully.
  13. KRG releases first report on oil exports, revenues in 2017 Baxtiyar Goran | An hour ago Share share A flame rises from a chimney at the Taq Taq oil field in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Aug. 16, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Azad Lashkari) Kurdistan MNR MNR Report ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Tuesday released its first report on oil and gas production, export, and revenues for the first half of 2017. The semiannual report was conducted by the international auditing company, Deloitte, “to prove [the KRG’s] commitment to transparency in the entire oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Region,” a statementon the government’s website read. “That includes verified numbers of export and sales of oil in the Kurdistan Region for the first six months of 2017,” the statement continued, adding the total revenue generated from oil sales—from January to June—is USD 3,328,211,119, after deducting expenses. According to the report, average crude sale prices for the Kurdistan Region’s oil during the mentioned period was USD 41.29 per barrel for exported oil through pipelines, at a time when the average Dated Brent price was approximately USD 51.71 per barrel. “The KRG considers the auditing process an important step [toward] strengthening transparency in the oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Region,” the statement read. “This is the first time that reputable and major international companies audit the oil and gas sector in Kurdistan.” The KRG statement concluded that the validated numbers for the second half of 2017, and for the past years would be released to the public in the near future. Editing by Karzan Sulaivany The KRG's monthly oil exports and consumption during the first six months of 2017. (Photo: KRG) Cash flows by US dollar. KRG oil exports and consumption. Pipeline exported and consumed oil. Trucking oil export sales analysis. Financial flows of the KRG's oil revenue.
  14. Business Deloitte found no ‘misstatements’ in KRG oil sales in first audit report By Rudaw 19 minutes ago -- ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Regional Government brought in over $3 billion in oil sales in the first half of 2017, according to an audit reportfrom Deloitte, released by the government on Tuesday. The government described the decision to publish the "verified numbers" from one of the world’s largest auditing firms as a step in the right direction towards transparency. "According to the validated numbers, the total revenue generated from oil sales is 3,328,211,119 US dollars, after deducting expenses," for the period from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017, the KRG stated. The KRG sold oil at an average of $41.29 per barrel, while the average Brent oil price was $51.71. The KRG signed a contract with Deloitte at the request of the World Bank to audit oil sales and revenues. The data for the second half of 2017 will be published in the near future, the KRG said, adding it "considers the auditing process as an important step for strengthening transparency in the oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Region." "The KRG has approved Deloitte's recommendations to further enhance the processes and address any shortcomings," the statement added. Deloitte stated in its financial report that they found no "misstatements" of the KRG's oil exports, consumption, or sales over the stated period. The firm will also be auditing oil production and sales for 2014, 2015, and 2016. The KRG started to export oil in early 2014 through Turkey's Ceyhan port, independent of the government of Iraq. Baghdad cut the KRG's share of the Iraqi budget in response to Erbil's plans to export oil. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi criticized the Kurdish oil sales on several occasions, often releasing numbers different from those released by the KRG's Ministry of Natural Resources. Please click the graphic to see it with high quality
  15. UK will use its influence to resolve Erbil, Baghdad disputes: Ambassador Baxtiyar Goran | 32 minutes ago Share share Jon Wilks, the United Kingdom Ambassador to Iraq, during a press conference in Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region, Jan. 16, 2018. (Photo: Kurdistan 24) Kurdistan Erbil Baghdad Relations UK ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The United Kingdom will continue supporting Kurdistan within Iraq and will use its influence to push Baghdad to resolve ongoing disputes with the Region, the British Ambassador to Iraq said on Tuesday. During a press conference in Erbil, UK Ambassador to Iraq Jon Wilks said his country supports the Kurdistan Region’s rights within Iraq and encouraged British businesses to invest in the Region. “The Kurdistan Region, as the most stable and most developed region in Iraq, has a very special role to play not only in terms of [the Middle East] and Iraq but also in terms of Britain’s relationship in the region,” Wilks stated. Wilks noted that the UK encouraged the Iraqi government to complete initial agreements with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) which would benefit all of Iraq in terms of stabilization and economy, adding that his country is pushing for a deal between Erbil and Baghdad before elections in May. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put forward a proposal for a fair budget for the Kurdish region in the Iraqi national budget,” Wilks said, revealing that the UK supports the IMF’s position and tries to use its influence in that regard. The UK Ambassador said he believes the Kurds have had a very solid team in Baghdad in the past, stressing the importance of having a strong team once again after elections. “The UK and many other countries will be supporting the rights, stability, security, and prosperity of the Kurdish region within Iraq in the years to come,” Wilks affirmed. According to the ambassador, the UK’s relationship with the Kurdistan Region and Iraq includes education, culture, security, trade, and investment. “The UK will continue to work with the Kurdistan Region’s authorities in terms of security cooperation, including the continuation of training and support for the Peshmerga forces who are a valuable ally in the fight against” the Islamic State (IS), he added. Wilks explained that the UK is interested in infrastructure projects that will benefit the citizens of the Kurdistan Region, revealing that 140 British companies are investing in Iraq and Kurdistan while encouraging more businesses to work there in the service sectors. “In recent years, the UK granted nearly 100 scholarships to young Kurds in the Region, and the program will continue,” he concluded. Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
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