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Tension in Iraqi Kurdistan: An official’s view

THU, 19 NOV 2009 10:55 | The New York Times

Qubad Talabani, Kurdistan Regional Government representative to the United States
To the Editor:

Minorities in Iraq’s North Seen as Threatened” (news article, Nov. 11) did not mention efforts by the Kurdistan Regional Government to protect minorities and portrays a Human Rights Watch report as vilifying the authorities of the Kurdistan Region. Human Rights Watch in fact blames Sunni Arab extremists for atrocities in the province of Nineveh, which the Kurdistan Regional Government does not even control.

As an oppressed community, the people of the Kurdistan Region insist on tolerance and peaceful coexistence in our region and throughout Iraq.

Minorities, regardless of their ethnic and religious background, have come to the Kurdistan Region, fleeing violence and persecution. If the minorities in Nineveh were being systematically intimidated by the Kurds, why would so many seek shelter in land administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government?

The problem is that terrorists and extremists are intent on destabilizing the situation in Iraq’s disputed territories. The way forward in Nineveh, as with other conflicted areas in Iraq, is to put into effect Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution. Only then will we resolve the administration, security and economic development issues facing the inhabitants of these territories.

Until then, coordination is required between the United States, the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government of Iraq to establish robust security mechanisms for the safety of all people.

Qubad Talabani
Washington, Nov. 11, 2009

The writer is the Kurdistan Regional Government representative to the United States.

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KRG statement on Human Rights Watch report – “On Vulnerable Ground”

TUE, 10 NOV 2009 21:42

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has a long standing and productive relationship with Human Rights Watch (HRW).

We appreciate what HRW has done in the past. As an oppressed community ourselves, we fully understand the value of ensuring justice for all members and factions of society.