PM Barzani rejects rumors of Syrian border closure
The KRG supports any demand in line with the Iraqi constitution
In a recent press conference in Erbil, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, rejected rumors in the media that the KRG had closed down its border with Syria, adding that it is more likely to send humanitarian aid to the Syrian Kurdish people through the border.
“Kurdistan Region is only bordering with Syrian Kurdish areas via one gate which is Fishkhapour River. Our jurisdiction is only applied to Fishkhapour,” he said.
According to Barzani, there is another gate with Syria which is located in Zumar, which although mostly Kurdish-populated, is under the authority of Iraqi federal government. He also added that the gate is protected by the Iraqi Border Guards.
He also described the on- going media attacks on the KRG around the supposed border closure as “unjust” stating his belief that there is a “political purpose” behind such efforts.
More than 60,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees are now living in the Iraqi Kurdish cities. The KRG’s policy is designed, as Barzani PM emphasized, to offer “humanitarian aid” to Syrian Kurdish brethren.
Barzani also remarked that it had over the past few years been trying to lend a hand to the Syrian Kurdish areas, which is referred to as Western Kurdistan in the Kurdish media. He further added that both Baghdad and Damascus were not allowed to convey the aid packages.
“The precedence of the KRG mission is to protect the stability and security situation of the Region. We absolutely do not accept, for any reason, the deterioration of the security of the Region.”
In the same press conference, the Kurdish Prime Minister advised and urged Syrian Kurdish parties to protect their unity. He said that some of the Syrian Kurdish political parties should not grab hold of the situation which the people of Western Kurdistan “do not accept”.
On the subject of helping the Kurdish military brigades in Syria, the PM explained that the KRG and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have more or less nothing to do with it.
He said that these kinds of media driven efforts are only tools for “misleading” people, and reiterated that there is a political agenda behind the efforts.
“We are able to move our forces toward Syrian Kurdish areas. But we prefer to choose dialogue and a peaceful solution.”
Political turmoil in Iraq
The Kurdish PM pointed out the recent political chaos in Iraq, especially the ongoing protests in the Iraqi Sunni cities. “The KRG will certainly support any demand which will be in keeping with the Iraqi constitution,” explained Barzani.
He also believed that the existing disputes in Iraq would not be in favor of any party.
“Presence of the Kurdish Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, referred to as Mam Jalal by Kurds, in Baghdad would be very significant.” He added that the President endeavored hard to resolve
the problems “peacefully”.
Barzani said KRG was being attacked wrongfully on the Syrian issue.