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 Iraq's Kurdistan president voices backing for Syria Kurds

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Iraq's Kurdistan president voices backing for Syria Kurds ‎ 28.1.2012 

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Massud Barzani speaks during a two-day conference of Syrian Kurds in the Iraqi Kurdistan capital of Erbil on January 28, 2012. Barzani backed minority Kurds in Syria, who have rallied against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad during 10 months of nationwide protests. Photo: Getty
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The Syrian Kurd diaspora congress in Erbil, Kurdistan Region. January 28, 2012. Photo: AK News

Barzani: Age of denying Kurds is over

January 28
, 2012


ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani on Saturday backed minority Kurds in Syria, who have rallied against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad during 10 months of nationwide protests.

Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, was speaking at a two-day conference of Syrian Kurds in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil.

"We do not want to interfere in the affairs of Kurds in Syria, but we will help and support your decisions," he said.

"But on the condition that you remain united during this sensitive period, and that you avoid internal conflicts."

He continued: "The situation is important to us because it (Syria) is a neighbouring country, we have a long border with it, and more than two million Kurds live there. It is important to know their future."

Barzani said the age of denying Kurds is over and that he supports all the decisions by the congress.

In a statement delivered at the assembly the Syrian Kurdish Opposition Council explained they believe "all political forces in Syria have denied Kurds their rights and their support is not as it ought to be."

The statement called on Syrian political parties to recognize Kurds as Kurds and give them their rights.

"Change is on the way to Syria and Kurds should be well-prepared for it," Barzani said in his address.

He said the situation in Syria is of vital importance for Kurdistan "because there are over two million Kurdish citizens living there".

More than 200 Syrian Kurds living in 25 countries took part in the conference, which will conclude on Sunday in Erbil.

Iraq's Kurdish region, comprised of three provinces in the north, enjoys broad autonomy under the country's 2005 constitution.

Syria's Kurdish community, meanwhile, is represented by a dozen squabbling political parties, all of them banned by authorities in Damascus.

Syrian Kurds have participated in demonstrations against Assad's rule,www.ekurd.net but a crackdown by the regime has been largely focused on the country's majority Sunni Arab community.

The United Nations said last month that more than 5,400 people had been killed in Syria since March last year.

Over 2 million Kurds live in Syria and Syrian Kurdistan [Western Kurdistan], mainly in the north bordering Turkey [Northern Kurdistan] and Iraqi Kurdistan region [Southern Kurdistan].

The Syrian Kurds have long sought official recognition of the Kurdish language and their culture. The Kurdish language is not allowed to be taught in schools. In 1962, 20% of Syria's ethnic Kurdish population were deprived of Syrian citizenship following a controversial census, according to human rights groups.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, AFP | aknews.com | ekurd.net | Agencies
 
 


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