Masoud Barzani, KDP leader / Unknown
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President and Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Masoud Barzani assessed recent developments in the region and said they were aiming to "encourage Kurds in other countries to gain their rights with negotiations."
Speaking to BBC Persian, Barzani said he was worried about the situation in Turkey.
"We support the peace process in Turkey and want negotiations to resume, we are ready to do whatever is necessary to help both sides. We hope there is a mutual and peaceful resolution in Iran too," Barzani said.
The KRG President, whose position is contentious amongst many Kurds following the suspension of parliament and lack of elections went on to say, "The time when Kurds are denied is over and this kind of politics will not help any country. But Kurds need to find a peaceful way to gain their rights and defend their identiy by developing dialogue with the central governments."
Barzani also stated that Kurdish independence from Baghdad was inevitable and that they wanted to achieve this negotiations and not war, which would benefit everyone.
PKK has no business in Sinjar
Commenting on the Mosul operation that began on 17 October, Barzani said that the areas under their control before the Mosul operation would be their borders.
"The first phase of the Mosul operation is over for the peshmerga. But this doesn't mean that the ISIS threat is over. This is why the peshmerga is ready to defend our areas."
Barzani also criticised the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) presence in Sinjar (Shengal) saying:
"My choice and perspective is for Kurds to not fight each other. But some groups are exploiting this and abusing our policy. The PKK has no business in Shengal and shouldn't use this area to propel itself into others."
Rhetoric and contradictory
A source within the PKK has criticised Barzani's comments as being purely rhetoric and contradictory.
"Barzani uses the independence card whenever he is pushed into a corner. These latest comments show he is struggling," the source said.
"Barzani knows there are no conditions for a peaceful political solution in Turkey when almost all of democratic Kurdish politics is detained, imprisoned and under attack."
The source also said KDP peshmerga had fled Sinjar before the Islamic State's attack in 2014 and therefore Barzani had no right to demand that PKK fighters leave the area.
"It was the PKK guerrillas who intervened and saved thousands of lives in Sinjar. If Barzani wants Sinjar to be a part of Kurdistan why did his peshmerga leave? The PKK are a legitimate force of the whole of Kurdistan, not just one part."
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani recently visited Ankara to meet with Turkish PM Yildirim, President Erdogan and other Turkish officials.
Commentators have speculated that the meeting was for laying the foundations for a possible Turkish excursion into the KRG region, with the Turkish army targeting PKK bases in the Qandil mountains and also the Tel Afar-Sinjar area.
Turkey was excluded from the Mosul operation and asked to withdraw its soldiers from the Bashiqa camp outside Mosul by the Iraqi government.
17/01/2017 0 0
17/01/2017 0 0
16/01/2017 0 0
16/01/2017 0 0
12/01/2017 0 0