Brussels, November 04, 2014
Masrour Barzani, head of the National Security Council of the Kurdistan Region was officially presented to the EU Parliament on November 04, where he gave a speech about the current situation in the Kurdistan Region, IS attacks in northern Iraq and Syrian Kurdistan, and especially the besieged city of Kobani.
In his speech, Barzani has told the European Parliament to donate heavy weapons to Kurds in their fight against Islamic State (IS), and called on EU authorities not to buckle under Iraqi central government pressure to stop militarily supporting Kurds whilst continuing to support Baghdad.
“IS is not only a threat to the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, in fact it’s a threat to the entire world. All the foreign fighters that have joined IS from Europe will have a negative effect on their home countries,” added Barzani.
He explained that there seems to be no limit to IS atrocities. They have forced thousands of people to flee their homes in northern Iraq. He pointed to the Sinjar tragedy as an example of IS actions that led to thousands of people dying of starvation and dehydration. They have sold thousands of Yazidi and Christian women into slavery, evidence suggesting that much of it is sexual.
Regarding the ongoing peace process between the Kurdistan workers’party (PKK) and the turkish government, he said that the Kurdistan regional Government was backing the dialogue between the two parties and precised that there were no other solutions possible that the one of the political solution for resolving the conflict.
To the question of some deputies conerning the remove of the PKK from the EU Terreur organisation list, Barzani answered:
“We have never considered the PKK as terrorist organisation. We are then against the upholding of the PKK in this list”.
Several members of the Foreign Affairs Commission attending the meeting affirmed the time had come to remove the PKK from the terror list of the European Union.
Concerning Turkey, he stressed that the Kurdistan regional Government had no received any support from Turkey against Daesh, saying that at the beginning, Turkey had argued having 49 hostages at stake and subsequently gave the argument of presidential elections.
To the question of why they sent only 150 peshmergas as a reinforcement to the kurdish fighters of Kobanê:
“They are our brothers forces YPG who requested this figure, they said they did not need any human reinforcements, but especially reinforcements arms. It was their will. We were ready to send their more Peshmergas to help our brothers who are fighting heroically against terrorist gangs Kobanê. “
Barzani focused on the United States led coalition airstrikes, telling his audience that the strikes have had a positive effect on Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
“The airstrikes have been a factor in rescuing thousands of civilians and have enabled our Peshmerga forces to liberate many towns and villages,’ added Barzani.
Regarding the current relationship between the Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi government, Barzani criticized Baghdad’s position, saying that Iraqi authorities have not supported them during the recent clashes against IS militants.
“The Iraq central government has not helped us in our fight against IS militants and they have cut our budget and Peshmerga salaries, in a time when Peshmerga forces are protecting Iraq. Currently the Kurdistan Region hosts more than one million refugees and unfortunately Baghdad has not supported us in this crisis, either,” added Barzani.
He also accused Baghdad of trying to prevent the EU from supporting Kurds and sending them heavy weapons.
“We have come here to tell the EU to keep supporting us and send us heavy weapons. The weapons that have been sent to us from EU countries are small and medium weapons, not the heavy weapons we require,’ explained Barzani.