PM Barzani: Kurds Won’t An­nounce In­de­pen­dence Through Violence

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani took stage with Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Feridun Sinir­li­oglu on the sec­ond day of Mid­dle East Re­search In­sti­tute (MERI) Fo­rum in Er­bil, the cap­i­tal of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

Dur­ing his speech, PM Barzani said that Kur­dis­tan does not want to stay with Iraq by force and it is the right of the Kurds to call for in­de­pen­dence peace­fully.

“If we want to ob­tain in­de­pen­dence -- which is a right -- we are not go­ing to do it through violence,” Barzani said, adding that Bagh­dad will al­ways re­main a part­ner.

Dur­ing the panel, which was en­ti­tled as “Fu­ture of Iraq, Rule of Law and Re­form of the In­sti­tu­tions”, Barzani said Kur­dis­tan has been al­ways worked to be­come a fac­tor of sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.

Con­cern­ing the war against self-de­clared Is­lamic State (known as IS, ISIS/ISIL), the Premier said: “We had never thought that a group called ISIS would at­tack the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in 2014.” He added that Tur­key, Iran and many other coun­tries helped Kur­dis- tan, stress­ing that with­out the as­sis­tance of the coali­tion forces to the Kur­dish Pesh­merga, the KRG’s mis­sion to fight ISIS would have been dif­fi­cult.

In what has be­come a front­line topic for the MERI Fo­rum, Barzani touched on the fail­ure of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment a con­sti­tu­tion writ­ten sev­eral years ago.

“In the cur­rent state of Iraq, we have waited for 12 or 13 years for an im­ple- mentable con­sti­tu­tion. To­day in Iraq we should hold se­ri­ous di­a­logue into how to re­struc­ture this coun­try, with real­ism. Wher­ever Kurds go, Bagh­dad stays as a key part­ner,” he said.

Re­lat­ing to the Er­bil-An- kara trade re­la­tions, PM Barzani said: “The level of the mu­tual re­la­tions is strate­gic and is not on the ac­count of an­other party.”

To sup­port his re­marks, PM Barzani re­counted mem­o­ries when Tur­key helped pro­tect the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in 1991 to es­tab­lish a no-fly zone and safe haven for the Kurds against the for­mer Baath regime of Sad­dam Hus­sein.

“Tur­key has opened a huge trade door to­wards the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion,” Premier Barzani said in the fo­rum.

PM Barzani asked to talk about the peace process in Tur­key and said that the KRG has been and will con­tinue to play a role to en­cour­age both Turk­ish and Kur­dish par­ties to re­solve the dis­putes through di­a­logue peace­fully.

Ac­cord­ing to Barzani’s speech, the Kur­dish HDP party made a mis­take by re­ject­ing of­fers to join the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment af­ter June elec­tions.

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