WATCH: ‘Kurds have to be part of solution in Middle East’
WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) – During a panel discussion on Oct. 25, a former advisor to the United States President Barack Obama said Kurds have to be part of the solution in the Middle East.
The Middle East Institute and the American Academy of Political and Social Science organized a panel where experts on issues in the region discussed the new US administration’s policies for the Middle East.
Rand Beers, former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to the President, said the US should consider the importance of Kurds for stability in the Middle East.
“With respect to the next administration’s approach to Kurdistan, I think that there is no question that the Kurds have to be part of the solution to any of the conflicts in Iraq or Syria,” Beers stated.
The former Security Advisor pointed to the sectarian divisions in the region and outlined the role of Kurds as a key factor in resolving these issues.
“I think that Kurds will be part of the solution, and it’s going to take some very serious navigating to find what direction that actually is,” he added.
Paul Salem, another panelist, outlined the success of Peshmerga forces and the leadership of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).
“The Peshmerga have done a tremendous job in protecting their own areas against [IS] but also in this current campaign to help liberate Mosul,” Salem said.
“The experiment of the KRG in [the Kurdistan Region] has been a very positive one in general, fairly democratic, fairly secular,” he continued.
Salem, Vice President for Policy and Research at the Middle East Institute, also spoke about the US’ position on Kurdish independence.
He explained the US would support Kurdish statehood if there were a “pathway” without stirring conflicts with Baghdad, Ankara, Tehran, and Damascus.
Editing by Ava Homa
(Abbas Zangana in Washington, DC conducted the interviews)