Barzani welcomes Öcalan’s call, ready for role in process
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani says he is ready to play any role to ensure the peace process succeeds. REUTERS PhotoThe president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, has welcomed a historic Nevruz message from the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) read out during celebrations in Diyarbakır March 21.
The message declared a cease-fire and called on armed militants to withdraw from Turkish soil, indicating that these moves would mark a milestone for “a new era” and herald the building of a “new Turkey.”
Barzani said he was pleased by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s call to turn the armed struggle into a democratic struggle and that he was ready to play any role to ensure this peace process succeeds and a political resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey is found.
“We not only support and welcome this call by Mr. Öcalan, we believe that this is the right course of action and a vindication of our long-standing policy that the Kurdish question is a political issue and that this question cannot be resolved through armed or military means,” Barzani said in a statement on March 24 that was posted on the KRG’s website.
“The success of the peace process requires the commitment of all sides to perseverance and patience.
The peace process must be viewed by all sides with strategic importance and not merely as a political tactic. We call on all sides to take practical steps toward the peaceful and political resolution of the Kurdish question,” he said.
Meanwhile U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Iraq yesterday and spoke by phone with Barzani. Kerry was expected to urge Barzani about not go ahead with unilateral actions – especially involving oil, like a pipeline deal with Turkey, The Associated Press reported yesterday.