MESOP FOCUS : Nechirvan Barzani backs a Sunni region in Iraq

17.6.2014 – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said he backed the creation of a Sunni region in the crisis-stricken Iraq and stated the country will not return to days before attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) terrorists.

Speaking to BBC that was aired on Tuesday he stressed the need for Baghdad to include Sunni tribes and communities in the political process and believes that much of what is happening is due to Baghdad’s wrong policies vis-à-vis Sunnis.  Barzani stressed that there is now a pre-Mosul and a post-Mosul Iraq and that the country will never be as it was before the Sunni extremist groups seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul.  According to Barzani it is unlikely that Iraq can “stay together” and stressed the need to “sit down and find a solution” that is not military. “There is no trust right now between Maliki and them [Sunni] or Maliki and the Kurds, even with the Shia groups,” said Barzani. While the Kurds have been present on the outskirts of Mosul in order to protect minorities and Kurds, Barzani is adamant that they will not be involved in a strike to take back the city: “It’s not our agenda, our priority is to protect the Kurdistan Region and it will remain our top priority”. Regarding a potential American intervention the prime minister said that there are a number of ways in which the US can help without having to send troops in.