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Speaker Rewaz Faiq at Relations Committee’s Symposium: We have asked UN General Representation to help stop military incursions, take conflict out of Kurdistan Region

Kurdistan Parliament’s Relations and Kurdish Diaspora Committee on 6 June held a symposium on the Challenges and Prospects for Kurdistan Region, at which the committee chair Dr. Rebwar Babkayi, Speaker Rewaz Faiq and several senior Kurdistan officials and academics spoke.

The topics of discussion were the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, security threats after the war against ISIS, anticipated changes after the next Iraqi election, the Reform process and the impact of political disunity on Kurdistan Region’s position and status.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Babkayi said "Unfortunately, yesterday a tragic incident took place, in which PKK guerrillas attacked Peshmerga forces."

Regarding the symposium, he said, "We want Parliament to be in the picture of the events and discussions about the challenges and prospects for Kurdistan Region. We have invited experienced academics and politicians to exchange views on these issues.”

In her speech Speaker Faiq focused on the challenges facing Kurdistan Region and declared, "Kurdistan Region is a product of history and a constitutional entity in Iraq. It is the duty of all organizations and citizens to protect this entity and confront the prevailing challenges."

She added that the main challenge is the issue of disunity and rifts between the political parties in Kurdistan. The Speaker emphasized that in such a critical situation the priority is to create a unified political discourse in which Kurdistan can preserve its constitutional legitimacy and status.

Dr. Faiq said, “Kurdistan Region's political status is historic, and the Iraqi Constitution of 2005 acknowledged Kurdistan’s historic status within the framework of the federal state. What we have achieved is the product of the struggle, blood and tears over decades of the Kurdistani people. Today there are many obstacles and challenges that Kurdistan, Iraq, the region and the world are facing. The citizen, Kurdistan’s constitutional institutions, political parties, civil society and the media, each of them according to the limits of their authority and responsibilities, can play a part in overcoming these challenges and obstacles."

She also said, “Despite our differences in philosophy and ideology, the political forces must put aside their differences and unite on the development of democratic culture at the institutional and public level, on allowing freedom of expression and freedom of religious and political beliefs.

We should be united on applying the principle of separation of powers, in empowering the judiciary and the public prosecution and protecting their independence, in facing corruption, reforming income and expenditure, reducing unemployment, and reducing the power of parties and interest groups in our Region's market and economics”.

Speaker Faiq said that the threats to Kurdistan’s constitutional status do not mean that the public’s complaints and concerns should be ignored. She said that the people of Kurdistan have shown great patience, and their complaints must be heeded and addressed.

On the situation in the border areas, Dr. Faiq said, “It is impossible to ignore the situation and problems in the border areas and the lives and livelihoods of the villagers, and it seems that their areas have become the battlefield of a proxy war. As well as destroying the peace, life, lands, property and homes of the villagers, Kurdistan Region gains nothing, and Peshmerga and our citizens are killed continuously”.

The Speaker in her closing remarks said, “We in the Kurdistan Parliament ask for constructive dialogue, the departure of regional countries’ forces, their opposition’s rejection of armed conflict, and for an end to attacks, targeting and military incursions on the borders of Kurdistan Region. Eventually the only way is for all of us to be just and logical, because peace and protecting the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region and Iraq will guarantee the peace and security of the entire region.”

 “With the aim of stopping the military invasion and calling for the rejection of armed conflict, we have written to the General Representation of the United Nations in Kurdistan Region and all three presidencies of the Iraqi Federal state, asking them use their powers and authority to stop this conflict that destroys lives, the environment and the properties and lands of the villagers. Especially given that Iraq is a founding member of the United Nations, which has as its main responsibilities to maintain peace and international security, while the Iraq state has the responsibility to protect national dignity and sovereignty and the borders, through authorized international mechanisms.”

The Deputy Speaker Dr.Hemin Hawrami, Parliament Secretary Muna Kahveci, politicians, academics and civil society representatives attended the symposium.