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Panelists discuss Kurdistan referendum at UK House of Commons

2017/09/12 | 00:00

(Iraq Now News)-

LONDON, United Kingdom (Kurdistan 24) – During a conference organized by Kurdistan 24 at the UK House of Commons, panelists discussed the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming independence referendum.

The panel consisted of British Conservative Party politician Jack Lopresti, Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the UK Karwan Jamal Tahir, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution Doha Ranj Alaaldin, Member of UK Parliament Nadhim Zahawi, and General Manager of Kurdistan 24 Noreldin Waisy.

Panelists discussed the Region’s historic independence referendum scheduled to be held on Sep.

25.

KURDISTAN-IRAQ RELATIONSHIP

The Kurds had their own ambitions but were forced to live in one state with Arabs following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship in 2003, according to Tahir.

“The new Iraq was supposed to be about respect, but [Kurdish] ambitions were not fulfilled,” he said.

“Two nations were forcibly combined.”

“Kurds rose against the dictatorship of Hussein and moved on to develop the Kurdistan Region and create new opportunities,” Tahir added.

TIMING OF REFERENDUM

Neighboring countries such as Turkey and Iran, including the United States and Iraq, have questioned the timing of the Kurdish referendum.

Officials believe the vote would distract forces battling the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, as well as lead to instability in the region.

Kurdistan 24 General Manager Waisy reassured the audience that now was the right time to hold the referendum.

“Now is the right time for the international community to recognize the rights of Kurdish people that were denied centuries ago,” he stated.

“Kurdistan’s referendum will be a big step to put an end to a century of denial, oppression, and genocide,” Waisy added.

PESHMERGA SACRIFICES

The panelists acknowledged the sacrifices the Kurdish forces have made on behalf of humanity, especially since the emergence of IS in 2014.

The Kurdish Peshmerga forces stood up against the militant group after the Iraqi military abandoned their fronts and fled.

Nadhim Zahawi, Member of UK Parliament.

Zahawi praised the Peshmerga as the “best military force” defeating terror groups in the Middle East, and said that “their wishes for independence must be respected.”

“I passionately believe in the right for all human beings to decide on their destiny, and Kurds are no different,” he affirmed.

“A fortified Kurdistan will be in a better position to stand up against threats.”

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

Regarding the response from the international community after the referendum, the panelists agreed the world must respect the Kurds’ desire for independence.

Alaaldin argued the Kurds needed to “convince their friends and enemies that an independent Kurdish state [would] bring stability.”

“There is no room for complacency when Kurdish independence is declared,” he added.

“The Kurdistan Region must not be undermined.”

Kurdistan 24 General Manager Waisy said the Kurds are on the verge of realizing a decades-long dream.

“Independence is a dream for every single Kurd, no matter where they are,” he said.

“The world must respect the desire of Kurds for independence.”

“We must push our leaders to recognize the human rights of all Kurds,” Waisy concluded.

Ranj Alaaldin, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution Doha.

Kurdistan 24 General Manager Waisy said the Kurds are on the verge of realizing a decades-long dream.

“Independence is a dream for every single Kurd, no matter where they are,” he said.

“The world must respect the desire of Kurds for independence.”

“We must push our leaders to recognize the human rights of all Kurds,” Waisy concluded.

Note: The post (Panelists discuss Kurdistan referendum at UK House of Commons) appeared first on (Kurdistan 24) and do not necessarily reflect the position of IraqNow.news.
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