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MIDEAST > Landmark Kurdish conference in Arbil postponed for second time

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

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A planned Kurdish National Conference gathering Kurdish figures from Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, which had been set to take place in Arbil between Sept. 15 and 17, has been postponed for a second time to Nov. 25.

The postponement is due to local elections in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Sept. 21., the organization committee said in a statement Sept. 3. 

The landmark conference had initially been planned to start on Aug. 24, but was initially postponed to mid-September for “technical reasons.” 

Around 600 delegations and 300 observers were announced to be invited to the conference.

Around 35 percent of the participants are set to be representatives of NGOs and 45 percent from political parties. The rest are to be drawn from youth groups and independent individuals, according to the organization committee.

Fighting has recently increased in the Kurdish-populated areas of Syria between the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front. 

The clashes have triggered an exodus of Syrian Kurds across the border to Iraq, and have also enflamed debates on the creation of an autonomic Kurdish region in Syria. 

The planned conference also comes as the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) increases its rhetoric against the government, issuing serious warnings about the fate of the ongoing Kurdish peace process that was launched nine months ago.

September/03/2013

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P Elan

9/9/2013 11:50:08 AM

As long as Turkish nationalism depends on denying ethnic and cultural diversity extremism on all sides thrives. The Turkish flirtation with political Islam in Egypt and islamists in Syria is not a step forward, but backward in time to the ways of the Ottoman Empire. The times have changed though and ethnic and local sovereignty subjected to a central power in Istanbul will not return.

Agnes Smith

9/3/2013 10:12:37 PM

Anyone surprised this takes a back seat? The Kurdish issue seems simplistic compared with the position looming in Syria and beyond. How many deaths did we have during the conflict with the PKK over 25 years? 35,000 is the estimate and I guess that means deaths on both sides? The Kurds were not the enemy in comparison and hindsight of today. The governments were and continue to sidestep the issue. We have had a long time to keep our Turkish Kurds loyal to Turkey and we have failed.
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