New Sykes-Picot on the way in the Middle East

KDP Official

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – The Member of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Leadership Council Ali Awni stated on Sunday that Kurdish independence should not be declared in a violent way, but rather it should be through dialogue and diplomacy.

On Sunday, in an exclusive interview with Kurdistan 24 TV Channel on Basi Roj program, Awni said that the Peshmerga has become “a symbol of resistance in the battle against terrorists [Islamic State] all over the world."

He discussed the current situation in Iraq stating that, “the country is stepping toward an unknown future… Today's Iraq differs from two years ago. It is in the result of the wrong policies of Baghdad government that do not only lead to the disintegration of the government but also the country as a whole that moves toward a sectarian division.”

“We as KDP believe that Kurds have different history compared to Iraq,” he continued, “We believe that the geography, authority, administration of the Kurdistan Region should be recognized and respected by the Iraqi Federal government.”

Awni noted that the constitution of Iraq clearly states that Kurds should receive all their rights as it is mentioned in the constitution articles, and their rights should be respected and recognized. “It has been 13 years that Kurds wait to receive their rights that are stated in the Iraqi constitution since the new Iraq [After the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003], but yet Baghdad government fails to do that. It has led the Kurds to question when they [Kurds] should expect to receive their rights,” he added.

Regarding the role of the KDP as the biggest Kurdish party in the Kurdistan Region dealing with the Iraqi Federal government, Awni noted that the KDP’s role is to pressure the Baghdad government and neighboring countries through Kurdish diplomats to support the Kurdistan Region. "The Middle East is on the edge of a big change, and a new Sykes-Picot is on the way. The Middle East to be re-drawn that some countries might diminish and new nations might be born as a new state,” Awni explained.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was signed in 1916 between the United Kingdom and France with the assent of Russia to draw the map of an area that is known today as the Middle East. They drew the map without considering or consulting ethnic and religious groups in the area.

“We believe that Kurdish Independence is a Kurdish right, and it shouldn't be achieved via coup d'état or violence because we believe things can be achieved in peaceful ways such as negotiation, dialogue, and diplomacy.” He added, “This has been our stance until now.”

He also mentioned that the wrong policies and mistakes of the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the current Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi are enough to say that “Iraq is getting disintegrated, and it is the time that everyone [Shia, Sunni, and Kurds] take their parts and rule themselves."