Boris Johnson meets Iraqi Kurdish leader in London

The leaders discussed export of oil to reduce western reliance on Russian energy

Boris Johnson and Masrour Barzani meet at No. 10 Downing Street in central London. AFP
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Kurdish leader Masrour Barzani at Downing Street on Tuesday.

Mr Barzani, who is the prime minister of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, spoke about his desire to export energy to Europe, which would reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas.

“Prime Minister Barzani spoke about his aspiration to export energy to Europe, and the Prime Minister lauded his efforts to help reduce western reliance on Russian oil and gas”, Downing Street said.

Mr Johnson said he would continue to support stability in Iraq and the mission against ISIS in the region.

“The leaders highlighted the strength of their relationship, recognising the UK’s deep ties with the Kurdish people. They noted the significant opportunities for greater partnerships across trade and investment,” Downing Street said.

Mr Barzani wrote on Twitter that he held separate meetings with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Minister for the Middle East Amanda Milling during his visit.

Mr Barzani was in Turkey on Friday, meeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Monday Turkey launched a ground and air offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

At least 19 suspected Kurdish rebels were killed and at least four Turkish soldiers wounded.

Updated: April 20, 2022, 3:57 AM