Britain’s All- Party Parliamentarian Group on Kurdistan Visits MERI

“We would like to understand the plans in place for the governance of post-Islamic State (IS) Nineveh and whether or not a governance structure based on political pluralism is more beneficial to the area than the type of decentralisation that MERI suggests” said Jack Lopresti, the British Member of Parliament and head of All Party Parliamentary Group delegation, during their visit to the Middle East Research Institute on Monday, 8 November, 2016.

The UK delegation also included Rt. Hon Dame Rosie Winterton MP, Graham Jones MP, Tracy Barbin MP, Jonathan Foreman (journalist) and Gary Kent (Director of APPG).  

MERI research fellows Dave van Zoonen and Dylan O’Driscoll, who recently conducted extensive studies on both the future for Nineveh and the prospect of reconciliation between the ethnic and religious components, presented their views on the importance of adopting a common political vision by stakeholders for the future governance of Nineveh province.  They believe that this is a priority that should not be postponed until after the liberation of Mosul.  

The MERI researchers believe that the best model for governing post-IS Nineveh Plain is the creation of a Nineveh region, consisting of different provinces, with a decentralised power-sharing structure within the region as a means of safeguarding the rights of minorities living in the area.  

The two sides also emphasized the role of UK and the European Union in the fight against IS, promoting peace and stability in the region and engaging the local leaders constructively.

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About MERI:  The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.  Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).

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