Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Baghdad

Barzani in Washington to discuss security pact, PKK problem – observers

ARBIL / IraqiNews.com: Kurdish political observers said that the main aim of the visit paid by President of Iraq’s Kurdistan region Massoud Barzani to the U.S. is to discuss the fate of the security agreement between Iraq and the U.S., and means of dealing with the problem of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The editor-in-chief of Rouznama newspaper, Adnan Othman, said that Barzani’s visit to the U.S. aims at discussing the security agreement between the two countries, noting that the Kurdish leadership agree on the agreement so the Americans want to pressure other Iraqi officials through the Kurdish side to make them sign it. Barzani headed for Washington last Monday, leading a high-profile delegation. Member of the central committee of the Communist Party in Kurdistan Kouran Hussein supports Othman’s opinion, saying “Kurds are important part of the Iraqi political project. “The Kurdish president can convey the real opinion of the Kurdish people and the Kyurish political parties regarding the agreement to the U.S. leadership, mainly in this critical stage,” Hussein said. For his part, political analyst and political science professor at the Sulaimaniya University Salar Basra said “one of the main reasons for Barzani’s visit is to reach a suitable solution for the security agreement after the U.S. elections, due in November. For nearly two weeks, Iraqi politicians have been considering the draft agreement, which would keep U.S. troops in Iraq through 2011 unless both sides agree that they could stay longer. The draft would also give the Iraqis a greater role in supervising U.S. military operations and allow Iraqi courts to try U.S. soldiers and contractors accused of major crimes off duty and off base. But critics say the draft, reached after months of tough negotiations, does not go far enough in protecting Iraqi sovereignty. The U.S. has suggested it may not be ready to accept changes. The agreement must be approved by the end of the year when the current U.N. mandate expires or the U.S. military would have to suspend all operations in Iraq. “The presence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters is another reason for the Barzani’s visit to Washington,” he said. The PKK, or Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, is an armed leftist Kurdish political party of nationalist orientations targeting the establishment of a so-called Independent State of Kurdistan. Founded on November 27, 1978 with Abdullah Ocalan, also known as Abo, was appointed as its chairman. The party’s fighters exceeded 10,000 in number during the 1990s. The PKK – considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union – has been fighting for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast and east of Turkey since 1984. The conflict has claimed some 44,000 lives. SH (I)/SR 1

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