SAN DIEGO, United States (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish people deserve an independent country, and the United States should support them, the Past-President of a US organization said at a Kurdistan Region referendum meeting on Monday.
David Edick Jr., the Past-President of the San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC), spoke to Kurdistan 24 about the US’ support for Kurdistan’s upcoming independence referendum.
Edick attended a meeting where San Diego’s Kurdish community gathered to discuss the historic event.
Also present was Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative in the US.
Despite objections from Washington regarding the timing of the event, senior Kurdish officials have agreed to hold an independence referendum on Sep. 25, 2017.
Edick said the people of Kurdistan had justified their aspiration for an independent state, particularly with their successes against the Islamic State (IS).
The Kurds are “people that have long deserved an independent country,” he said. “[Kurds] have fought to protect themselves to have their own country.”
Edick also addressed Washington’s relationship with the Kurds and said the US should back the Region’s desire for independence.
“I do believe the United States should support [the independence referendum],” he said.
“This is a challenging time in the Middle East, and we need to support those who share our values,” he added.
Edick mentioned the Sykes-Picot treaty, a 100-year-old agreement between colonial powers which denied Kurds a state in the early 1900s.
He said the balance of power was shifting in the Middle East, and it was vital for Washington to support its allies in the region.
“The era of Sykes-Picot is over with, and much of the old mandate in the Middle East is filled with turmoil,” Edick noted.
“It’s important for the United States, I believe, to have a stable friend in the region,” he concluded. “An independent Kurdistan is that country.”
The SDWAC is a nonprofit organization that engages San Diegans in international relations, global issues, and cultural understanding by providing educational programs and activities.
(Kurdistan 24 team in San Diego conducted the interview)