Masrour Barzani emphasized that the PKK is not an alternative to the Kurdistan government and that the organization should respect the government of Kurdistan.
Speaking to Qatar-based Al Jazeera television, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Mesrur Barzani answered questions on the agenda.
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, who answered a question about the military operations carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) against the PKK within the borders of the Kurdistan Region, said: “Essentially, this problem is Turkey’s internal problem that has moved to the Kurdistan Region, that is, it is a problem between the PKK and Turkey. is the problem. It is not a problem for us or for Iraq. This problem was addressed to us during the period of struggle against ISIS. The vast majority of our forces participated in the conflict with IS. Therefore, a military vacuum occurred in these regions (the regions where the PKK is located). Unfortunately, PKK members have sought to increase military hegemony in the aforementioned regions by using the vacuum to their advantage. “PKK members settled in those regions where we had forces before,” he said.
Why is the PKK here?
Emphasizing that the people of the region could not return to their homes due to the ongoing conflicts between Turkey and the PKK, Mesrur Barzani continued as follows:
“۸۰۰ villages in the region could not be reconstructed due to the conflicts. Many people have had to migrate due to the conflicts in the last days. The real question to be asked is: Why is the PKK here? The PKK should not be here and should not present itself as an alternative. They prevent farmers from going to their lands, presenting themselves as an alternative to management. The region became unstable due to the conflicts. We want the PKK to leave the Kurdistan Region. They should retreat to their own space. The PKK should respect the government of the Kurdistan Region. ”
“Turkey has no problem with other Kurds”
Stating that the relations between Turkey and the Kurds should not be seen only within the framework of Turkey-PKK, Mesrur Barzani said, “Turkey has a problem with the PKK, but it does not have a problem with other Kurds. We have relations with Turkey as well as with our other neighbors. We want our commercial and economic relations to develop further,” he said.
Defending that the terrorism and ISIS threat continues and the International Coalition Forces should remain in Iraq, the Prime Minister said, “The terrorist threat still exists in a serious way in Iraq. For this reason, the International Coalition Forces should continue to support Iraq in the fight against terrorism, ”he said.
The issue of fighting ISIS
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said:
“IS still remains a threat to the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, the Middle East and the world. The ideological presence of IS is still very active and they continue to attract the people to their ranks. Recently, we witnessed them committing terrorist acts in different parts of Iraq and Syria. They can still earn 150 million dollars annually. ISIS now has a large number of members. I do not think that without the support of the International Coalition Forces, the regional forces can fight against all these threats alone. ”
Answering a question regarding Erbil-Tehran relations, the Prime Minister said, “Iran is our neighbor and it has interests in Iraq. Our policy on this matter is very clear; We want to have good relations with all our neighbors, including Iran. We have a long border with Iran. We have common interests in the fields of trade and security. Therefore, I hope our relations will be stronger within the framework of mutual respect and not interfering in mutual internal affairs”.