MESOP NEWS : KURDISH REFERENDUM & THE BRUSSELS EU – EU Parliamentary Group Seeks New Policies on Kurdistan’ Independence

Basnews English – 21/09/2017 – 00:45 – ERBIL — The European Friends of Kurdistan in the European Parliament has called on the EU Council to “develop a new strategy” in regards to the Kurdistan Region’s planned independence referendum and its relations with Iraq.

“For more than a century, the Kurdish people in Iraq have been struggling for freedom and sovereignty. When the state of Iraq emerged following the First World War, the Kurds revolted against their inclusion into the state from the first movement,” reads a statement by the parliamentary group.Mentioning the decades-long persecution of Kurds, the EU Parliamentary Group said that after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the Kurds in Iraq decided  to help rebuild the new state of Iraq. “Kurds did that on the condition that Iraq would be a democratic, federal and pluralistic state, in which Arabs, Kurds and all the other ethnic, religious and sectarian components of the Iraqi society would be equal partners.”

It also emphasises that “more than a decade later, those principles have been largely set aside. Against this backdrop, the Kurds see no alternative to using their self-determination right by conducting a referendum.”

“The self-determination right of people according to Article 1.2 of the UN Charter is one of the fundamental rights of the international law.” Highlighting the vital role of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the war against Islamic State (IS), and Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) efforts in sheltering nearly 2 million refugees and IDPs, the EU Parliamentary Group said “the formal position of the European Union should also include the recognition and respect for the aspirations of the Kurdish people.” – “Furthermore, we urge the council of the European Union to develop a new strategy for Iraq which could put the European Union on the forefront of the efforts in helping facilitate a peaceful and lasting solution between the main entities in Iraq.”