Masoud Barzani says Kurdistan ‘closely monitoring’ developments in Iraq, condemns violence

“Any changes should take into consideration the rights of all components and must be in accordance to the [Iraqi] Constitution.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region is following the developments in Iraq “with interest” and will do what it can to help resolve the unrest, Masoud Barzani, President of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), said on Saturday.

“We are closely monitoring the recent developments and welcome any steps which could contribute to resolving the crisis and not lead to the return of dictatorship,” President Barzani said in a statement on his official Twitter account.

The Kurdish leader’s statement comes following an announcement by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi that he would submit his resignation to parliament after the country witnessed one of the bloodiest days of national protests on Friday.

Read More: Iraqi prime minister says he will resign amid continued bloodshed at protests

“Any changes should take into consideration the rights of all components and must be in accordance to the [Iraqi] Constitution,” Barzani underlined in his statement.

The changes should aim “to establish security and stability and enforce the rule of law and achieve the just demands of the disadvantaged masses,” the KDP leader said in a separate statement on his official website, adding the Kurdistan Region condemns the killing of innocent people.

The protests in Iraq over the past two months reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, a call for more jobs, the dismal state of public services, and widespread government corruption.

Since they began in early October, widespread protests have resulted in the deaths of nearly 400, while some 16,000 have been injured, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.

The United Nations, as well as Amnesty International, have called for an end to the bloodshed and urged security forces to show restraint against protestors.

Demonstrators in Iraq are calling for radical change in Iraq’s political system, which they say fails to address their needs, but, rather, serves the interests of a small governing elite.