Iraq: Minority Groups

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit), DUP Westminster Leader

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions has he had with the Iraqi Government on the effect of its new education curriculum on practising religious minorities in that country.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Joint with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK is committed to supporting the Government of Iraq as it completes formalisation of the Cabinet and we look forward to the announcement of a Minister for High Education. I recently visited Iraq and met with representatives from the Iraqi Government including the Prime Minister; Adil Abdul Mehdi and President Barham Salih where I reinforced the importance of reintegration of minority communities to ensure stabilisation.

Our Ambassador in Iraq, Jon Wilks, met with a representative from the Iraqi Government recently where discussion centred on Iraq's plans and priorities for Education, and future arrangements where the British and Iraqi Higher Education Institutions might work together. The British Council EC Schools Capacity Building Project in Primary and Secondary Education has developed a Human Rights curriculum, with the Ministry of Education, which they are hoping to pilot in Baghdad, Erbil, Basra, Anbar and other provinces.

I am aware that recently the Kurdistan Regional Government began discussions on teaching the history of all religions and we welcome these discussions.

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