ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The United States should accept the right of Kurds to determine their future, according to a former US Ambassador.
Peter Galbraith, a former US Ambassador to Croatia, spoke to Kurdistan 24 about the challenges ahead for Kurds, especially with the upcoming independence referendum.
Galbraith emphasized the need for America to back the Kurds as they prepare for a vote on independence.
“The United States should accept the right of the people of Kurdistan to determine their own future,” he said.
“We know that in [the Kurdistan Region] what they want is independence,” the former diplomat added.
Galbraith also highlighted the relationship between Washington and Erbil, stating Kurds were America’s “best friend” in the Middle East.
“The Kurds are the most pro-American people in the Middle East,” he stated.
The former US Ambassador pointed to the strength and success of the Kurdistan Region's Peshmerga forces and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) battling the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.
“In terms of fighting [IS], the Peshmerga and the YPG in Syria - the Kurds - have been the most effective fighters against [IS],” Galbraith noted.
“The Iraqi army is the people who have armed [IS] by virtue of their cowardice and ineffectiveness,” he pointed out.
The former diplomat also addressed the challenges ahead for Kurdistan, particularly with their Turkish and Iranian neighbors.
Galbraith said the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani might be able to play a significant role in settling disputes with Turkey and Iran regarding their Kurdish populations.
Editing by G.H. Renaud
(Kurdistan 24 team in Washington, DC conducted the interview)