Barzani: Sykes-Pi­cot brought mis­er­able pe­ri­ods for Kurds

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

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.

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