Kurdistan Parliament ‘supports’ France, leadership: Deputy speaker

The Kurdistan Parliament supports France and its leadership, a high-ranking parliament official said on Wednesday following a visit to the French consulate in the Kurdistan Region’s Erbil.
author_image Halgurd Sherwani

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Parliament supports France and its leadership, a high-ranking parliament official said on Wednesday following a visit to the French consulate in the Kurdistan Region’s Erbil.

The visit aimed to show “support to the stance of the French government and public,” the Kurdish deputy speaker, Hemin Hawrami, told reporters in a press briefing held following a meeting between a delegation of major lawmakers and the French Consulate General in capital Erbil.

The visit comes as France has faced widespread criticism from some Middle Eastern countries over its president’s comments on cartoons depicting the Islamic Prophet. Some lawmakers in the Kurdistan Region have also criticized Emanuel Macron’s remarks.

“The official stance of the Kurdistan Parliament is what its leadership expresses,” Hawrami told reporters, as he said any other remarks or stance from other entities or parliamentarians do not represent the institution’s official stance.

France has maintained a diplomatic representation in the Kurdistan Region since 2008. But the history of Kurdistan’s relations with France is much older.

In the late 1980s, then French First Lady Danielle Mitterrand paid a visit to Kurdistan to monitor the tragedy of the Kurdish people closely and support those residing inside refugee camps, fleeing from the ethnic cleansing campaign of Anfal committed by the former regime of Saddam Hussein.

Following the Kurdish uprising against the Ba’athist regime and the establishment of the autonomous Kurdish region, French support and close relations continued.

In the fight against the so-called Islamic State, France played a pivotal role by providing air support to the Peshmerga forces on the ground as well as arming them and providing medical treatment to Kurdish forces.

“Kurdish people are always loyal and thankful for all the support that French presidents and the public have given Kurdistan in the last 100 years,” Hawrami said.

“France has been the only true supporter of the Kurdistan Region,” the Kurdish deputy speaker added.

President Macron’s support for cartoons, which sparked anger and furry in the Islamic world, came as a French schoolteacher was beheaded for showing pupils a caricature of the Islamic Prophet.

The Kurdistan Region “strongly condemns any act of violence,” Hawrami said, that are conducted against freedoms, coexistence, and religious diversity anywhere in the world.

“We continue to support France, and it maintains support to the Kurdistan Region,” the deputy speaker concluded.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany