UK promotes Tobias Ellwood to position of Defence Minister

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Queen of the United Kingdom has approved the Conservative government’s selection of Tobias Ellwood as its new Defence Minister. The MP had been Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for the Middle East.

“Delighted and honoured to be appointed as Minister in the Ministry of Defence,” Ellwood wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for all the support during my three years at FCO.”

The Tory replaces Michael Fallon, who held the post since July 15, 2014.

Fallon visited Erbil in April, meeting with Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, along with Masrour Barzani, the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council, among others.

Falah Mustafa, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs had described the meeting with Ellwood as “productive.” He congratulated Ellwood on Wednesday’s promotion.

"I congratulate my dear friend Tobias Ellwood on his appointment as Minister in the UK Ministry of Defence. I look forward to working together,” Mustafa, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs, wrote on Twitter.

In the June 9 election, the incumbent parliamentarian won 51.9 percent of his constituency’s vote Bournemouth East, located in the county of Dorset in South West England.

Ellwood made big news in March when photos emerged of him trying to save a police officer who had been stabbed fighting off knife-wielding man outside of the Houses of Parliament. The attack was later claimed by ISIS through its affiliated media.

Tobias's brother, Jonathan Ellwood, was one of 202 people killed in the 2002 tourist bombing in Bali. An Indonesian court sentenced to death three members of Jemaah Islamiyah who were convicted of orchestrating the attack.

According to his website, Ellwood spent six years Regular Army with The Royal Green Jackets, head quartered in Winchester, and served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kuwait, Germany, Gibraltar and Bosnia in the 1990s.

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