UK should not support independence of Iraqi Kurdistan: House of Lords

United Kingdom (KurdPress) – The House of Lords has urged the UK government to not support “attempts by Iraqi Kurds to seek independence” and instead to keep supporting the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Peshmerga as part of Iraq and close allies in the region.

According to the House of Lords International Committee Report on the Middle East, published 2nd May, the UK should keep its policy towards one unified Iraq and should not undermine the country’s unity, especially while Turkey and Iran share similar views and at a time when the Kurds want to turn their victories against the Islamic State (IS) into more political recognition and eventually to independence.

According to NRT the report also makes clear that all support should go through Baghdad and warns the UK government of “the dangers of appearing to support one man and one party in Kurdistan,” adding that it appears as though Barzani “has been given a blank cheque” by Western states.

The findings of the report is on a par with the UK government’s approach towards the KRG as it has consistently supported the unity of Iraq and delivered support through Baghdad.

The report touches on new developments in the region and considers Iraqi Kurds to be “intimately connected to regional power struggles, and whose political ambitions can no longer be ignored.” It also clarifies Turkey and Iran’s position towards the KRG as being comfortable with the autonomy that the KRG enjoys currently as they are certain there won’t be attempts made towards building a greater Kurdistan. Hence, both will keep containing the issues pertaining to their Kurdish population within their own borders.

Kurdish-inhabited area – By Captain Blood, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The report also briefly touches on the Kurdish autonomous region of Syria, or Rojava, and hints at its failure due to Turkish opposition to it.

“[T]hey are far from being able to hold or govern territory.” Rojava is seen as the “only red line” for Turkey as it’s related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the PKK is recognized as a proscribed terrorist organization in the UK.

The report, which has taken the committee six months to write, offers a much broader view of the region in the light of new developments in the Middle East, namely in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and especially with the new US administration’s “unpredictable” approach towards the region.

This report prepared by KurdPress International News Agency