Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat – A Kurdish leader, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the US administration has informed Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani that the US and Turkey will not support any efforts, on his part, to announce an independent Kurdish state.
He added “Washington informed Barzani of its support for dialogue with Baghdad, and recommended that he – along with Iraqi political leaders – seek to overcome this crisis and normalize relations between the Iraqi and Kurdish political forces in order to protect the democratic experience in Iraq.”
The source told Asharq Al-Awsat that “approximately two weeks ago the US administration informed Barzani not to rely on American and Turkish support in his quest to secede from Iraq or take steps towards the formation of an independent Kurdish state. The US said that Barzani should not rely on the support of America and Turkey to move towards this option, for America supports reconciliation and normalization efforts, and Kurdish participation in the political process in Iraq, rather than any steps whose objective is secession from Iraq.”
The Kurdish leader also expressed his fear regarding Ankara’s position towards the Kurdistan Region. He said “Turkey is ignoring the humanitarian issue surrounding the Kurdish issue; this is a case involving a population of 20 million whose humanitarian and national rights are being violated by the Turkish state. Therefore I do not think that Turkey will come out today to support an issue such as the formation of the Kurdish state and secession from Iraq.”
He added “Turkey has had a very strong relationship with Iraq over the past decades, and its interests are more in line with the Iraqi state than the Kurdistan Region, therefore I fear our Kurdish people in the Kurdistan Region being subject to another regional conspiracy along the lines of the conspiracy perpetuated by the Shah of Iran in 1975 when he reconciled with the Saddam Hussein regime…with the objective of suppressing the Kurdish revolution led by late Mullah Mustafa Barzani.”
The Kurdish leader, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, asserted “I believe that the same scenario is on the verge of being repeated, therefore I warn the Kurdistan Region presidency against making the same historic mistake, particularly following America’s retreat from supporting any move towards secession from Iraq.”
Earlier this year, Kurdistan Region President Barzani demanded that Iraq’s Shiite leaders agree on power sharing with their political enemies or else the Kurds would consider breaking away from Baghdad. Speaking in April, President Barzani called for Baghdad to agree a power sharing deal before September, threatening that the Kurdistan Region could seek to secede from Iraq. Speaking to the Associated Press [AP], he said “what threatens the unity of Iraq is dictatorship and authoritarian rule. If Iraq heads towards a democratic state, then there will be no trouble. But if Iraq heads towards a dictatorial state, then we will not be able to live with dictatorship.”