Barzani: Sykes-Picot brought miserable periods for Kurds
A century has passed since the Sykes-Picot Agreement was signed, and ever since, the region has not experienced peace, stability and prosperity, the President of Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani says.
Barzani released a statement on May 16, on the 100 years anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement which drew today’s political borders in the Middle East and created the current countries in the region.
He reiterated that the agreement brought miserable periods for Kurds in the Iraqi Kurdistan. The country was created based on the partnership of Kurds and Arabs, “but it was the partnership between the government and successive oppressing regimes that denied the rights of Kurds.”
Barzani explains in the statement that after 1991, when Kurds established an autonomous Kurdish Region in northern Iraq, they avoided revenge and attempted to start a new relationship with Iraq, but the Iraqi government continued their reckless policy against Kurds.
“Also After the fall of Ba’ath regime in 2003, Kurds spared no efforts to establish a democratic and federal Iraq based on political partnership of all components, but once again the Iraqi government failed to stay committed to the new constitution, and it violated the partnership [between Erbil and Baghdad] by withholding Kurdistan Region’s share from the federal budget.”
Barzani stressed out in his statement that violence, instability and extremism were the outcomes of the agreement in the region where different components were compelled to live together with specific boundaries.
Iraq is now practically divided by sectarianism and terrorism groups, Barzani says. “Those who divided the region into its current shape and the rulers in Baghdad are countable for this situation,” the Kurdish president insists.
He explained that Kurds tried every option to maintain the unity of Iraq, but to no avail. “The SykesPicot Agreement should be reconsidered in hopes of ending further violence, war and tragedies in the region.”
Barzani urges the regional international communities not to make the same mistakes which were made during the last 100 years. A region should be reshaped in accordance toits demographic nature and the wish of the locals, Barzani continues.
Concerning the Kurds in other parts of the Greater Kurdistan [Turkey, Syria and Iran], Barzani reiterated that their case should be peacefully resolved according to their distinctive characteristics.
“A historic opportunity is now available to stop further tragedies and avoid making the previous mistakes,” Barzani says, demanding a new round of negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad in hopes of finding a solution to the issues.
He says “If partnership [between Erbil and Baghdad] did not succeed, we can be friendly neighbors for each other.”
Kurdistan Region President finally added that if some political parties shrink the “historic opportunity”, the people of Kurdistan will determine their future and the decision is theirs.