Massoud Barzani, most experienced politician in the Middle East / Patrick Cockburn

By Lorin Sarkisian – Ararat News (ANP) – Brussels, 23 December 2013 – Federal Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani has been called “the most astute and experienced politician in the Middle East” by British newspaper The Independant. In an analyze about the most successful Middle East politician in 2013, Patrick Oliver Cockburn, Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent, comments the leadership in the region in the past year and concludes that President Barzani had the most balanced and realistic approach.

Cockburn has written four books on Iraq’s recent history and is considered among the most experienced commentators on the country.

The Irish journalist Cockburn writes: “The most astute and experienced politician in the Middle East is probably the Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, President of Kurdistan Regional Government and head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, who has pursued Kurdish self-determination, so far within the context of Iraq, through victory and defeat. His has been an extraordinary career, with abrupt reversals, such as total defeat in 1990 being followed by sudden triumph when the Kurds took advantage of Saddam Hussein’s debacle in Kuwait to seize back their heartlands in Iraq. The KRG is now one of the few places on earth enjoying a genuine economic boom, thanks to the discovery of oil and gas. Mr Barzani has balanced between the US, Iran, Turkey and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad without becoming the pawn or the victim of any of them.

Given the hostility between Turks and Kurds, one of the most remarkable sights of the year was Mr Barzani in full Kurdish uniform standing on a platform with Mr Erdogan in Dyabakir, effectively the Kurdish capital in Turkey, in November and speaking of Kurdish-Turkish brotherhood. Kurdish nationalism is close to winning a degree of autonomy not far from self-determination in Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Unlike other successful leaders, Mr Barzani has a certain modesty and realism that keeps him from overplaying his hand when times are good”.

The complete article of Patrick Oliver Cockburn in published on the following link: