President Barham Salih emphasized that Iraq is keen to develop the friendly relations with the United Kingdom in various fields, notably the economic and trade ones, in a way that serves the common interests of the two countries, during his visit to the UK.
Salih is expected to stay in London for three days.
Salih discussed security ties with Prime Minister Theresa May in a meeting after his arrival on Tuesday evening.
May reaffirmed her government’s stance of “supporting the Iraqi government in building a stable and successful nation”, a Downing Street spokesman said.
The ministers “acknowledged the ongoing threat posed by ISIS”, the spokesman said, adding that May stressed the UK’s readiness to provide further support to the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga.
They also agreed on the importance of international co-operation in the de-escalation of current tensions, the spokesman said.
Salih acknowledged the vital role that Britain played in the fight against terrorism in the region by training and equipping Iraqi security forces.
Salih attended a reception and a dinner banquet that was attended by the British Secretaries of Defense, International Trade, Development, and Security as well as the National Security Adviser to the British Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in addition to political figures interested in the Iraqi and Middle East issues.
Salih stressed that one of our priorities at this stage is the reconstruction of Iraq and the improvement to the level of services rendered to Iraqis.
He indicated that the terrorist organization of ISIS has been defeated militarily, but it still represents a real threat and therefore should focus on fighting and resolving the battle with ISIS.
Salih expressed his gratitude and thanks to the United Kingdom’s role in supporting Iraq during its war against terrorism, and in rendering humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons and ensuring their return to their homes.
He added that Iraq and Britain could play an active role in stabilizing the region, warning that any escalation would lead to new wars.
For their part, the ministers and officials of the British side welcomed the visit of the President to their country.
They emphasized that the visit will contribute to enhancing bilateral relations and developing the foundations of joint cooperation between the two countries.
They also underscored Britain's steadfast stance in supporting Iraq and backing up the country at all levels.
Salih confirmed Iraq's desire to develop its relations with the UK, indicating the country’s keenness to enhance joint cooperation in all fields.
Salih met with the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jeremy Hunt, in London.
The president indicated the need for coordination and work between the two countries on intensifying efforts on consolidating peace in the region and attaining stability and security in a way that achieves progress and prosperity for countries and peoples.
For his part, Hunt reiterated his country's support for Iraq at various levels and Britain’s pursuit to strengthen bonds of friendship with it.
He commended Iraq’s pivotal role to the crisis in the region, emphasizing the importance of continued coordination and consultation between the two countries on various issues as well as on the emerging developments in the regional and international arenas.
House of Lords
Salih met with the Lord Speaker of the British House of Lords Peter Norman Fowler while he was paying a visit to the House of Lords of the United Kingdom in London.
Salih commended UK's role and its supporting stances for the government and the people of Iraq in addressing terrorism as well as its contributing in building Iraq's cities, chiefly the liberated areas.
During the meeting, the bilateral relations between Iraq and UK, the ways to enhance these relations and broadening the scope of the collaboration and coordination among legislative institutions guaranteeing the development of the oversight and parliamentary work in the country were reviewed.
For his part, Fowler welcomed Salih's visit to London and its contributing to boost the bonds of the relationship between the two countries, stressing his earnest desire to consolidate the joint action and coordination between the House of Lords of the United Kingdom and the Council of Representatives of Iraq.
Salih also held a meeting with Iraq Support Group headed by Ann Clwyd. The meeting dealt with the situations in Iraq and the region. A number of members of the House of the Common and of the Lords attended the meeting.