London mayor Boris Johnson visits British military while on trade visit to Kurdistan region of Iraq

 
Catherine Neilan
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London mayor Boris Johnson is in Iraq (Source: Twitter/MayorofLondon)
The mayor of London has popped up in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to promote trade links between the region and the UK, highlighting the "commercial opportunities and infrastructure development".
Boris Johnson was invited over by the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Barzani and will meet business leaders in the hope of encouraging new deals with London firms.
But that's not all.
During the visit - news of which was embargoed until 10:30pm last night for "security reasons" - Johnson has also had time to meet with British and local Kurdish Peshmerga military in preparation for fighting Islamic State, noting that "all this helps protect London".
"With direct responsibility for the strategic direction and oversight of the Metropolitan Police the Mayor was keen to learn their experiences of helping fight terrorism that impacts on the safety and security of Londoners," Johnson's office said.
He said: “Over the last decade Kurdistan Region has seen considerable economic growth and social development, and I’m here to mark London’s role as an active ally in this.
"We have a mutual interest in not only Kurdistan Region’s security and prosperity but that of Iraq as a whole.
"The links between Britain and the Kurdistan Region are developing at an incredible pace, there is a dynamic and forward-looking leadership here and I am looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and discussing greater cooperation on a range of issues.”
Between 2009 and 2014, the number of registered British companies in Kurdistan has increased from three to more than 120, across a number of sectors including energy, financial services and commercial trade.

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