French politicians petition for Iraqi Kurdistan:  By Lionel Jospin, Michel Rocard-Former Prime Ministers Bernard Kouchner, Hubert Védrine- Former Ministers of Foreign Affairs

Let’s help Kurdistan protect the Yezidis and the Christians – September 11, 2014

PARIS, France,— Since June, Iraqi Kurdistan has been receiving hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced people fleeing the massacres committed by the jihadists of the Islamic State. Among them are tens of thousands of Christians, Yezidi Kurds, Shabaks and members of other religious minorities who have been living in these lands of the Upper Mesopotamia for centuries and who, after having survived the massacres of the Ottoman Empire and Saddam Hussein’s bloody dictatorship, today find their very existence threatened. – Our values depend on them

Coming after the first wave of 250.000 Syrian refugees, this massive flood far exceeds the Kurdistan Regional Government’s hosting capacities which does not have, on its own, the material means to provide for the accommodation of this additional population of over a million people. What is more, despite the need to protect an over 1000 Km. of border against highly armed and rich Islamic State, it has been deprived from its share of the national budget by the Government of Baghdad since January 2014.

Kurdistan is a young democracy in the making which respects and defends universal values, liberties, human rights and the protection of the minorities. %36 of its parliament members are composed of women and its Government of National Unity assembles all the parties represented in the parliament, including the Christian parties.

Such a rare example of democracy in the Islamic world not only deserves encouragement but it also needs active and massive solidarity of the citizens and the governments of the Western Democracies. By fighting against the forces of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate whose fanatic ideology and barbaric practices disgust us, the Kurds are fighting for our democratic values and for our safety.

This is why we are appealing for:

The intensification of humanitarian aid by the UN agencies and the European Union since Kurdistan is incapable of meeting the needs of accommodating these hundreds of thousands of refugees.

The realisation of the declarations for delivering arms to the Kurdistan Regional Government in order to enable the Kurds to defend their territories. Taking all the measures that can enable the Kurdistan Regional Government, alone in the front line, to ensure the protection of the religious minorities who are put in danger by Jihadist massacres. Particularly an international air protection should be provided in Christian and Yezidi districts of the Mosul plain in order to enable these vulnerable peoples to return to their homelands. We also urge France, who took the initiative of mobilising the European Union, to propose a resolution to the Security Council of the United Nations which would ensure the payment of the %17 of the Oil revenues due to the Kurds by the Government of Baghdad, in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution.

Finally, we ask the European Union to appoint a special envoy in order to favour the direct mediation, and to re-establish the dialogue between Baghdad and the Kurdish, Sunnite and Shiite communities and to make the oil-monarchies who, directly or indirectly, allow financing the jihadist organisations, to face their responsibilities and to bring them widely and financially take part in the humanitarian actions in progress.

Other Signatories:

Louise Baudoin, Former minister of culture of Quebec

Patrick Baudoin, honorary President of the International Federation of Human Rights League

Hamid Bozarslan, Professor at University

Gérard Chaliand, Writer and geopolitician

Christian Charrière-Bournazel, Former President of Lawyers’ Union of France

Sergio Coronado, Member of Parliament

Bernard Dorin, Ambassador

Cécile Duflot, Former Minister

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris

Jean-Paul HUCHON, President of the Paris Regional Council

Jean-Christophe Lagarde, Member of Parliament

Pierre Lellouche, Former Minister, Member of Parliament

François Loncle, Former Minister, Member of ParliamentNoël Mamère, Member of Parliament,

Gilbert Mitterrand, President of France-Libertés Foundation

Kendal Nezan, President of the Kurdish Institute of Paris

Jean-Vincent Placé, Senator, President of the Green group in the Senate

Pierre Serne, Vice-President of the Paris Regional Council

Dr. Frédéric Tissot, Former General Consul of France in Erbil