Deputies Zana, Önder head for talks with Talabani and KRG
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder. DHA PhotoIndependent Diyarbakır deputy Leyla Zana and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder have travelled to northern Iraq for a week-long visit, during which they will hold talks with the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
Talabani returned to Iraq over the weekend for the first time since he suffered a stroke and was flown abroad for medical treatment 18 months ago.
Zana and Önder will also hold meetings with KRG President Masoud Barzani and KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, the HDP said in a written statement on July 21, adding that the meetings in the region are expected to take one week.
While in Arbil, they will also gather with Kurdish political institutions, parties and executives, in order to convey the views of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), regarding the Kurdish National Congress and regional developments, particularly regarding Rojava, the Kurdish northern part of Syria, the statement said.
Zana and Önder were at the İmralı Island prison in the Marmara Sea on July 10 to visit Öcalan, who has been serving a life sentence there since he was captured in 1999.
Öcalan has been in dialogue with both state officials and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), and later also with its sister party, the HDP, at least since late 2012, as part of the peace process intended to end the three-decade-long conflict between Turkey’s security forces and the PKK, in order to pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue.