ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A former Israeli Ambassador to the United States expressed his support for the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming independence referendum, adding an independent Kurdistan is “a must.”
Daniel Ayalon, the former Israeli Ambassador to the US, told Kurdistan 24 the people of Israel support and welcome the Kurds’ desire for self-determination.
“In Israel, and I hope in any decent democratic country in the world, we have great support and appreciation for the Kurdish people,” he said.
“We support a free Kurdistan,” Ayalon added. “We support an independent Kurdistan with [territorial integrity] of these ancient people in their own land.”
The former Israeli ambassador also mentioned the Kurds’ decades-long struggle with oppression, denial of human rights, and genocide.
He said the independence referendum would give the Kurds an opportunity to present their case to the international community.
“The Kurdish people have suffered injustice, they’ve suffered discrimination against,” he said. “Their case has not been, unfortunately, presented in a major way in the international arena.”
Regarding threats from regional countries like Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, Ayalon argued an independent Kurdistan was “a must.”
Officials in the US have opposed the timing of the referendum, stating the vote would distract forces battling the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.
However, Ayalon said the referendum is in the interest of the Western community because an independent Kurdistan would bring stability, prosperity, and security to the region.
Despite calls to postpone the historic vote, the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has insisted on holding the referendum on Sep. 25.
Editing by Ava Homa
(Kurdistan 24 team in Washington, DC conducted the interview)