President Barzani: Time to redraw map
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) -- On Friday, President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, called on world leaders to acknowledge the changing borders in the Middle East and help pave the way for Kurdish statehood.
Barzani has repeatedly called for a Kurdish state and has declared numerous times that the Kurdistan Region would hold a referendum on independence.
In an interview with the British daily, The Guardian, published Friday, Barzani said the 1916 Franco-British pact Sykes-Picot has failed in creating modern, cohesive nation-states in Iraq and Syria where Kurds have in recent years gained more territorial control and political power.
“I think that within themselves, they [world leaders] have come to this conclusion that the era of Sykes-Picot is over,” Barzani told The Guardian. “Whether they say it or not, accept it or not, the reality on the ground is that. But as you know, diplomats are conservatives and they give their assessment in the late stages of things. And sometimes they can’t even keep up with developments.”
The Kurds now hold much of the territory they claim along the frontiers of Kurdistan, in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, Kurdish-controlled land extends from Khanaqin bordering Iran, and Afrin in western Syria, close to the Mediterranean Sea.
Barzani also stated that “compulsory co-existence” in the countries where Kurds live did not work during this 100-year period, warning that the status quo would ultimately bring about further destruction to the Middle East.
Addressing the concerns of neighboring states over Kurdish independence, Barzani said Kurdistan was “not a threat to anyone."
"But,” he added, “we do not seek permission to exercise our right.”
Editing by Ava Homa