Kurds, too, have ‘legitimate claims’ toward self-determination, PM Barzani tells World Government Summit

Addressing the ongoing crisis in the Middle East and the ongoing war in Gaza, Barzani said the roots of injustice “remain unaddressed”.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani delivering a speech at the World Government Summit, Feb. 12, 2024. (Photo: KRG)
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani delivering a speech at the World Government Summit, Feb. 12, 2024. (Photo: KRG)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Monday said the Kurdish people, too, have legitimate claims toward self-determination.

Barzani’s remarks came in a speech he delivered at the World Government Summit (WGS24) in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Addressing the ongoing crisis in the Middle East and the ongoing war in Gaza, Barzani said the roots of injustice “remain unaddressed”.

“Had the foundational rights of the Palestinians been dealt with 80 years ago, or in the decades since, there would have been far less chance of the tragedy we are seeing now,” Barzani said.

“We too have legitimate claims towards self-determination. These are rights that have been acknowledged by our friends and allies, who at the same time tell us that political imperatives impede their help in delivering a historical justice,” the premier told the leaders.

He also said self-determination is a "driving force of human nature".

The premier highlighted the lingering issues in the Middle East that have fueled the current instability and turmoils. 

"War, insurrection, hardship, and economic instability have unfortunately become part of our hardwiring. There is no denying the toll that this has taken on social and economic
development," the premier added.

Calling on the international community to not be indifferent toward the origins of threats, Barzani said the Kurdish region is paying a high price for its values. 

"In our case, we have been unjustifiably targeted. This aggression must end," he said, reiterating that the Kurdish region does not pose any threat to anyone. 

"We are a factor of peace and stability," Barzani said, adding that regional conduct must be on "mutual respect and interests". 

Regarding combating ISIS Barzani stressed that they stood by their allies during “the plague of ISIS.”

“It was the right thing to do, and had we not done so, the region would now be a very different place, plagued by global terrorists who had consolidated a foothold in the heartland of the Middle East, sowing chaos among us at will,” he then noted in that regard.

Concerning global warming, the Prime Minister pointed out that “Dubai and Erbil are both at the epicentre of a warming planet and we are fully aware of the risks of ignoring a catastrophic reality.”

“Together we can summon the will to confront the issues that hold us back. It is not always easy as leaders to look to the horizon. But we must. We owe it to those who put their faith in us,” the premier concluded.