British Prime Minister Theresa May has invited Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani for a meeting in London "in due course," while promising “to fight” to protect Kurdish identity and rights in Iraq.
In a phone call yesterday, the leaders discussed the Kurdish referendum, which resulted in 92 percent support for the establishment of the first ever Kurdish nation-state.
"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," stated a readout of the call from 10 Downing Street on Tuesday.
May underlined the "UK’s continued support for the Kurdistan Region and Kurdish people within a unified Iraq.”
Regarding the stalemate between Erbil and Baghdad, May said she and Barzani "agreed on the importance of dialogue and negotiating" on the Iraqi government's desire to take federal control and joint management of borders and "a resumption of international flights to Kurdistan’s airports in Erbil and Sulaimani."
May also "welcomed" the KRG's recognition of the Iraqi Federal Court's ruling that Iraq is unified and indivisible adding "the UK’s continued respect for the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq."
"[T]he UK would continue to fight to protect the identity and rights of the Kurdish people under the Iraqi constitution," she added.
May and Barzani also spoke about counter-terrorism and "the importance of our continued cooperation in order to keep the people of both Kurdistan and the UK safe."