KRG High Representative to the UK delivers remarks at the Centre for Kurdish Progress’s Public Forum

Karwan Jamal Tahir, the KRG High Representative to the UK delivered a speech at a public forum on the upcoming Kurdistan Independence Referendum, held by the Centre for Kurdish Progress in partnership with Kurdistan24 at the House of Commons-UK Parliament on Monday 11 September 2017. This forum was chaired by Gary Kent, Director of the APPG on the Kurdistan Region. The keynote speakers, included Jack Lopresti MP, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Noreldin Waisy, the Founder and General Manager of Kurdistan 24 and Dr Ranj Alaaldin ,Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Doha and Associate Fellow at Oxford Research Group.

Mr Tahir explored the Kurd’s generation- long struggle for political independence and the right of Kurdish people for self-determination. He said: “We have borne enough, we have had enough of violence, war, and instability, we have no choice, but to adopt different form of coexistence which is the two-state solution.” Regarding the outcome of referendum, Mr Tahir asserted that “If the YES campaign prevails, this would secure a mandate for negotiating independence for Kurdistan with the Iraqi Central government in a peaceful manner.” He added: “We believe that our independence can resolve many crises and stabilise Kurdistan, Iraq and the wider Region.” Mr Tahir urged the international community to support the Kurdistan Referendum for independence and facilitate the dialogue between the KRG and the Iraqi Federal Government in the aftermath of referendum.

During the event, Lopresti MP paid tributes to the Peshmarge forces for “protecting not just their people, but the whole international community.” Mr Lopresti MP also expressed his views on the Kurdistan Referendum for independence and reaffirmed the APPG’s continued assistance to the Region. He added, “It is going to be in the UK and International community’s interest to have a free and stable Kurdistan. Whatever the result of Kurdistan referendum turns out to be, there will be a positive outcome for the Kurds. As the Chair of the APPG on Kurdistan, I will continue to work on British-Kurdistan Region’s security, military training, trade and tourism ties.”

Nadhim Zahawi, Member of Parliament for Stratford and a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the British Parliament and the APPG on Kurdistan Region further elaborated on the reasons for Kurdistan’s referendum on independence. He said: “The Kurdistan Region has been a driving force of stability, security and prosperity in the MENA Region.” Mr Zahawi MP described the KRI as “a strong hold of liberal democracy”.

Dr Ranj Alaaldin, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Doha and Associate Fellow at Oxford Research Group, reaffirmed that the Kurds need to convince their friends and enemies that an independent Kurdish state would bring stability to the Middle East Region. He stated that there is no room for complacency when Kurdish independence is declared, “the Kurdistan Region must not be undermined.”

In his remarks, Noreldin Waisy, the Founder and General Manager of Kurdistan 24 said:“Independence is a dream for every single Kurd, no matter where they are. The world must respect the desire of Kurds for independence. We must push our leaders to recognize the human rights of all Kurds.”

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