Kurds `have right to self determination` 

By Roni Alasor – Middle East Diplomatic, Brussels 3 July 2014 – Speaking in a briefing organized by European Policy Center (EPC) in Brussels, Joost Hiltermann, responsible for the oversight and management of International Crisis Group`s programs and operations around the world, said that Kurds have right to self determination and independence. Mr. Hiltermann also said Kurdistan Region (KRG) is the only safe place in Iraq and it is playing a stabilization role in the Middle East region.

“The Iraq crisis, ISIS and the region” briefing was organized by EPC in cooperation with the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey, TUSKON office in Brussels. Speakers were Joost Hiltermann, International Crisis Group, Osman Bahdir Dincer, Research Fellow, USAK, Ankara and Aymenn al-Tamimi, Independent Middle-East Expert. The meeting was moderated by Amanda Paul, Policy Analyst and Programme Executive of EPC.

Experts and speakers in the briefing agreed that Iraq is not longer the same Iraq as it was under the dictator Saddam Hussein, divided by different ethnical and religious groups. The country is now pushed for more chaos and bloodbath after the terror group ISIS took control over the Mosul and other cities. The experts also underlined that during the last years, Iraqi PM Nouri Al Maliki didn’t show willingness to solve the disagreements and conflicts between different religious and ethnical groups in Iraq.

“As the most stable, fast developing and prosperous part of Iraq, Kurdish region now has a historical chance to gain independence, and I believe that, as every nation, Kurdish people also have right for self determination and independence”, said Mr. Hiltermann. Hiltermann also said that according experts, Kurdish oil and gas have high quality and it should be good opportunity for Turkey, EU and the West.

Some days ago, Massoud Barzani, the President of Kurdistan asked the Kurdish Parliament to proceed with Independence vote: “What we are seeing now in Iraq is the result of the failed policies of Maliki in Iraq. We warned Bagdad several times about what is going to happen already six months ago, but they did not listen to us.” he said.