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Jerusalem - Israel Endorses Independent Kurdish State

Published on: September 13, 2017 10:00 AM
By: Reuters
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony at the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos BrindicciIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony at the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Jerusalem - Israel supports the establishment of a Kurdish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, as Kurds in Iraq gear up for a referendum on independence that lawmakers in Baghdad oppose.

Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, viewing the minority ethnic group—whose indigenous population is split between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran—as a buffer against shared Arab adversaries.

On Tuesday, Iraq’s Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said he would press ahead with the Sept. 25 referendum despite a vote by Iraq’s parliament rejecting it.

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“(Israel) supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state,” Netanyahu said, in remarks sent to foreign correspondents by his office.

Western powers are concerned a plebiscite in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region - including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk - could divert attention from the war against Islamic State militants.

Netanyahu said Israel does however consider the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) a terrorist group, taking the same position as Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

An Israeli general told a conference in Washington last week that he personally did not regard the PKK, whose militants have been fighting Turkey for more than three decades, as a terrorist group.

Netanyahu, who is due to address the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 19, voiced support for “the Kurds’ aspirations for independence” in a speech in 2014, saying they deserve “political independence”.

His latest remarks appeared to be a more direct endorsement of the creation of a Kurdish state.

But they will cut little ice in Baghdad, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel and has strong ties with Israel’s arch-foe Iran.

Iraq’s neighbors—Turkey, Iran and Syria—oppose the referendum, fearing it could fan separatism among their own ethnic Kurdish populations.

Kurds have sought an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East after the collapse of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire.



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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 13, 2017 at 10:14 AM Educated Archy Says:

The kurds are the only ones who support Israel and the USA. Turkey has been a thorne on israel's back under this meshigna Erodagon. Our strongest ally in Iraq is the Kurds despite the fact that the USA continues to stab them in the back. Its time to recognize them as legitmate people. They are the only sain ones in an insane animailistic zoo society called the middle east.

2

 Sep 13, 2017 at 12:24 PM stamnamefortrump Says:

Yes, let's make Kurdish country!

3

 Sep 13, 2017 at 12:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

The kurds are the only ones who support Israel and the USA. Turkey has been a thorne on israel's back under this meshigna Erodagon. Our strongest ally in Iraq is the Kurds despite the fact that the USA continues to stab them in the back. Its time to recognize them as legitmate people. They are the only sain ones in an insane animailistic zoo society called the middle east.

The US has air bases in Turkey and will see how this plays out. You think you know everything, big fallacy

4

 Sep 13, 2017 at 12:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

The kurds are the only ones who support Israel and the USA. Turkey has been a thorne on israel's back under this meshigna Erodagon. Our strongest ally in Iraq is the Kurds despite the fact that the USA continues to stab them in the back. Its time to recognize them as legitmate people. They are the only sain ones in an insane animailistic zoo society called the middle east.

The US airbase in Incerlik is very important to the Pentagon, of course poorly educated Archy I am sure knows better

5

 Sep 13, 2017 at 03:06 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

The US has air bases in Turkey and will see how this plays out. You think you know everything, big fallacy

Yes I agree that's why the USA has never afforded the Kurds the honor the deserve. Because they get favors from Erodegan.

I don't dipsute your claims.

But realize that Erdogean is a back stabber. For starters he has made all sorts of problems with Israel. He has also enabled Isil at times because he hates Assad and the shites. The man is a player and a ruthless dictator. He insutrcuted his forces to use violence against protestors when he visited our country. Even Putin does not do that. The man is a no goodnik.

Obviously we have to balance our favors and interests in the region. But morally there is no argument that the kurds deserve it. How to reach those moral goals must be thought out strategically.

6

 Sep 13, 2017 at 03:07 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

The US airbase in Incerlik is very important to the Pentagon, of course poorly educated Archy I am sure knows better

"poorly educated Archy"

Why resort to name calling and insulting others?

7

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