No need to fear Kurdish meeting: KRG spokesman

No need to fear Kurdish meeting: KRG spokesman

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
No need to fear Kurdish meeting: KRG spokesman

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) PM Nechirvan Barzani in Ankara. AA photo

No one in the Middle East, especially Turkey, should fear any declaration of an independent Kurdish state when the Kurdish National Congress soon convenes in Arbil, according to a spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

“We understand that there may be some concerns in some countries, including Turkey, about the content of this congress. We’d like to tell them that they should not be concerned. They should not be under any suspicion that this congress has any ulterior motives, such as the declaration of an independent Kurdish state in the entire Middle East,” KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview on July 30, hours ahead of meetings between the region’s prime minister, Nechirvan Barzani, and Turkish leaders.

The idea of gathering a Kurdish National Congress goes back to the 1970s, but the circumstances then were not ripe for Kurds in Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq to gather, Dizayee said.

Over the last five years, KRG President Masoud Barzani has been working to hold such a congress and to bring together all Kurdish political groups for “a united message, a message of peace, a message of fraternity and a message of coexistence of the Kurds with other nations and religions in the region,” Dizayee said.

“Developments in the Middle East are changing so rapidly. Therefore, the Kurds need to get together to have a united position that can be promoted to solve the Kurdish issues in each of these countries through dialogue, through peaceful means and through accepting one another,” Dizayee said.

Almost 45 groups met last week in Arbil under the auspices of Masoud Barzani, and a preliminary committee has been set up to draft the agenda of the meeting, which will be held within a month, as well as iron out the logistical aspects, he said. “Hopefully there will be high attendance from all political entities, civil society organizations, even political figures and dignitaries for attending this congress.”

The committee that is responsible for preparing the agenda and framework of the discussions are still working, Dizayee said, adding that participants from each country will be given an opportunity to outline their status and their position and problems they are facing, and perhaps even identify ways and means for solutions to resolve the problems. Discussions will evolve around developments in the region and the prospect for changes in the region, he said, adding that they would be put on the agenda of discussions of each particular group for debate.

There will also be a “final communiqué” “to make reassurances that there is no hidden agenda,” he said.

Final communiqué expected

The communiqué is designed primarily to bring the groups together to work on the same platform, to focus on the same message and the same promotion of peace and non-violent means.

Asked who would represent the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) at the congress, Dizayee said: “As an organization they will be invited. … It’s entirely up to the organization themselves [as to who they will be representing].”

Dizayee said it had not been discussed whether Turkey would send an observer to the gathering. “The committee is responsible for deciding the level of participation and the number of participants. This is primarily a Kurdish national congress. Whether the committee will invite foreign diplomats or representations to the opening session or other sessions is still being discussed.”