Kurdish politicians to debate Iraq in free University seminar

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Wednesday 27 June 2012

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The democratisation of Iraq will be the focus of a free-to-attend seminar in Coventry next week as two key personalities from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) visit the city to discuss the issues and challenges faced by the country.

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of foreign relations for the KRG, and Serwan Mohammed, head of statistics at the KRG’s Ministry of Planning, will present to an audience at Coventry University’s Goldstein Lecture Theatre on Wednesday 4th July at 11.30am.

His Excellency Mr Bakir and Mr Mohammed – both of whom have been intimately involved with the constitutional process and negotiations in Baghdad – will then take part in a panel discussion for members of the audience to ask questions and share their thoughts.

The panel will be joined by the KRG representative to the UK, Ms Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Mr Tom Hardie-Forsyth, adviser to the KRG, and Mr Gary Kent, secretary of the UK Parliament All-party parliamentary group for Kurdistan.

The seminar comes at a time of heightened tension in the region, with Turkey’s continuing problems with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and a number of issues spilling over from conflict in Syria underlining the complex cross-border friction.

An ongoing dispute between the KRG and the Iraqi central government over the resolution of disputed territories and which authority has the right to control Iraq’s oil exports from the north of the country also highlights the challenges associated with the implementation of its new constitution.

Mils Hills, senior lecturer in global strategy at Coventry University, said:

The Kurdistan Regional Government is a key player in Middle Eastern diplomatic relations and in the rebuilding of Iraq, and notwithstanding recent disputes with Baghdad, Minister Bakir and Mr Mohammed have had crucial roles in the re-establishment of stability in the country post-invasion.

We’re delighted to welcome these two high-profile political personalities to Coventry University, and we look forward to a lively and informative discussion about a part of the world that remains of the foremost significance for international relations.

For further information, please contact Alex Roache, External Press & Media Relations Officer, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7679 5050 or email alex.roache@coventry.ac.uk.