Barzani: Kuwaiti-Kurdish ties deep-rooted
Kurdistan President meets Kuwaiti journalists
President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani stressed that Kuwait-Kurdish relations are deep-rooted and Kurdish leaders always rejected the abusive practices of the Iraqi governments towards Kuwait before 2003. Welcoming a Kuwaiti media delegation currently visiting the region at the Salahuddin Resort in Irbil, Barzani expressed his happiness at the visit and termed it a good gesture by ‘a group of highly educated Kuwaiti elite’ who wish to have a closer look at the region.
“Relations between Kuwait and Kurdistan region are very strong and we have a lot in common – as peoples, we both suffered from the Baath regime of Saddam Hussein. For three decades, the Kurdish people went through what the Kuwaiti people suffered during the Iraqi invasion,” he underlined. Barzani also recalled that when the former Iraqi president Abdul Kareem Qassim erred against Kuwait in the 1960s, Mulla Mustafa Barzani, his father, rejected and opposed his claims. He also noted that he had always felt closely related to Kuwaiti politicians and has utmost respect for HH the Amir.
Barzani also called for a direct flight from Kuwait to the Kurdistan region to help boost both peoples’ communications. On the opportunities that the region offers to foreign investors, Barzani stressed that the region’s investment law is one of the best worldwide. On the rise of Islamist movements in Kurdistan, Barzani stressed that they formed no more than 16 percent of the region’s population and enjoy freedom and democracy to a great extent as long as they remain within the limits of democracy and law. “We have no problem with either the Islamist blocs or any other movements,” he reiterated, reminding that, at the same time, a policy of zero tolerance towards any security threats or calls to spread anarchy in the region.
On yesterday’s Kirkuk blasts that claimed many innocent lives, Barzani stressed that terrorism was a dangerous phenomenon threatening everybody in Iraq. However, he assured that the security situation was relatively stable in Kurdistan. “Iraq has been going through a real dilemma and everybody should stick to the constitution and work together on sparing Iraq going through possible disasters. Only then, we will all be able to find solutions and ways out of this dilemma,” he said.
Moreover, Barzani stressed that he wholeheartedly supported the demands of protestors in Anbar governorate and any other city provided everybody fully observes the constitution and prevents Al-Qaeda elements from penetrating their groups and seizing the opportunity for their own benefit.
Commenting on the situation in Syria, Barzani said that in collaboration with UN organizations, Kurdistan has sent large quantities of relief aid to the Syrian people. He also expressed his readiness to coordinate with Kuwaiti NGOs to pass the aid to the displaced Syrians. “Kurds in Syria are only seeking their rights – they have no ambitions to grab power or authority and they realize that the Syrian people have every right to determine their own destiny,” he concluded, reminding that he had rejected repeated requests from the chairman of the Syrian transitional council to intervene in the conflict.
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani meets with a group of Kuwaiti journalists accompanied by the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq in his stronghold in Salahaddin, 30 kilometers northeast of Erbil on Wednesday, January 16, 2013.