President Masoud Barzani visited the town of Bashike which was recently liberated by the Peshmerga forces from the control of the terrorists of the Islamic State. The ceremony was attended by a number of Yezidi, Christian, Arab and other ethnic and religious community leaders.
President Barzani began his remarks by warmly congratulating the Peshmerga forces for their hard work which recently led to the liberation of the town of Bashike. The President also noted the importance of a place like Bashike and how the town is a mosaic of ethnic and religiius communities, stating that it is here where church bells ring simultaneously with the Muslim adhan to prayer and where Yezidis attend their houses of worship.
The terrorists of the Islamic State attempted to cease that co-existence from continuing, but miserably failed, the President said.
He also spoke of the importance of Mosul and how its liberation is of enormous importance to the security of the Kurdistan Region as a whole.
President Barzani made reference to the agreement between the Federal Government in Baghdad, the Kurdistan Region and the Coalition and how the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Region are fighting the terrorists of the Islamic State, in accordance to that agreement. He added that those who collaborated with the terrorists, at the expense of the blood of the Peshmerga forces will never be welcomed by the Kurdistan Region again. That is especially true, the President stated about those who assaulted the Yezidi women in Shingal and other areas.
The Kurdistan Region shall focus more on protecting its borders and prevent the terrorists to ever get close to the Kurdistan Region, the President stated. He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of those who paid the ultimate price for the Kurdistan Region.
President Barzani also touched upon the political situation of Kurdistan. “They want to establish provincial federalism,” he referred to Gorran and some within the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan without naming them. “We fought hardly Paul Bremer [head of Coalitional Provisional Authority from 2003 t0 2004] against this idea. And now they want to make it happen again. This is unacceptable.” He also added that similar to the Peshmerga of Kurdistan who defused the planted mines by ISIS and cleaned the land of Kurdistan, “we will defuse all those political mines on our way, we defused much and will defuse also the others.”
“We have known and seen when nations become under a foreign threat, they unite and put aside their problems and differences. They work unitedly to annihilate that threat. We had that expectations from the political parties of Kurdistan when ISIS attacked and to support the Peshmerga forces. Unfortunately, we saw some created an unnecessary situation, they attempted a white coup, attacked headquarters and killed people. I ask them: Have your conditions improved after your attempts? My second question: What did you achieve and what did you change? No matter how hard you try and attempt coups, you won’t get anything. My advice: You will reap the same amount as you reaped before, don’t try hard. The right way, which we call upon, is for all the political parties to come together with a pure heart and open mind to resolve our problems. Lets come together and make a unified decision. The time passes by and the opportunity is going by, then no one should blame for what is happening because we won’t wait on anyone.”
On the issue of independence and referendum, the President of Kurdistan said that in their recent talks with Baghdad are promising that this process might happen through dialogue without referendum. “If we reach agreement with Baghdad then we won’t need referendum. We will hold the referendum if we don’t reach the agreement with them. But this is a process which we will not retract from.