ERBIL — A British Foreign Office minister, in response to criticisms against his government’s position towards Kurds, said that the UK did not betray the people of Kurdistan Region during their independence vote.
“We formed a view very early that we didn’t believe it was in the interests of the region or those who advocated it,” he said. “We weren’t alone in relation to this,” said Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East.
He claimed that the position UK had taken on the issue was an “honest” advice to the Kurds and not “a matter of betrayal”.
The remarks are in response to Tom Hardie-Forsyth, a former British Cabinet Office, and NATO official, who said earlier this week that London had failed to support and protect the Kurds against Iran. He named the Kurds as the most important allies for the UK in the Middle East.
Hardie-Forsyth, currently an informal adviser to the KRG, said that Britain had “detailed intelligence warning of the precise links” between Iran and the Shia militias that Tehran supports in Iraq, and that ministers had inadvertently helped to “neutralize” the Iraqi Kurds in efforts to limit the influence of Iran in the region, as reported by Kurdistan 24.
Burt denied the statement, saying, “I’m not aware that we have taken such action that we would have neutralized the Kurds. I don’t think of the Iraqi Kurds to be a neutered body.”