PM Barzani: it’s time for a new chapter in the Middle East story
Premier Barzani says the KRG is committed to the Iraqi constitution, which guarantees the rights and freedoms of the Kurdistan Region
The American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS) conducted its second annual international forum on 4-5 March 2014. Several distinguished local and international figures and guests attended the forum.
The forum was entitled “Navigating the Challenges of the Middle East”, and attendeed were from countries involved in finding a solution for the region.
The distinguished guests at this year’s forum included he Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davoutoglu, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Iraqi Minister of Higher Education Ali Adeeb, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, the KRG Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami, and former US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad.
In his speech, KRG Premier Barzani thanked the AUIS president and chancellor for organizing such a significant forum in Su- laimani. He also thanked Davutoglu for taking part.
Barzani stated that the Middle East needs to reevaluate its past, adding that it is going forward and a new chapter has to open in its history.
He also told the guests that the current challenges need a very special understanding if the social and political structure of the region is to be adapted in such a way as to safeguard stability and peace.
Regarding the current security, economic and political situation in Iraq, he described the Iraqi government as a “failed state”.
Barzani added that the Kurds had experienced “dark times” under the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein before 2003.
He criticized the Iraqi government for allowing a large part of Iraq to suffer from inadequate security, poor services, a lack of public facilities, and deep and “paralyzing” political disputes between political parties and groups.
Barzani went on to criticize the Iraqi federal government, saying there was a lack of national purpose in addressing future problems.
“Iraq is complete losing its authority and there has been a deep confrontation among the political forces,” KRG PM Barzani said.
Barzani also said that the KRG was committed to a “democratic, federal and pluralistic” Iraq state, which guarantees rights and freedoms for the Kurds under a meaningful constitution.
The Kurds played a more central role after 2003 in writing a comprehensive constitution for the whole of Iraq in which all ethnicities enjoy the same rights, no group is prioritized and human rights for all are guaranteed. Unfortunately, this constitution has been violated by the Iraqi government.
Barzani also expressed his deep concerns over the future of Iraq and the nature of Erbil-Baghdad relations.
The Kurds are a genuine partner in the new Iraq and in the Federal Government. He said that the KRG is very concerned and pessimistic about the attitude of the Iraqi government towards the constitutional rights of Kurdistan.
He said the current problems are the outcome of past disputes which have now escalated, and that the direct threats being issued by the Iraqi government are serving to push the Kurds away from the rest of Iraq.
“The pressure is not helping in the search for suitable solutions within our country’s constitutional framework,” he said.