Washington's Newlines Institute Interviews PUK President

Interviews 05:40 PM - 2024-05-09
PUK President's interview with Newlines Institute VOA

PUK President's interview with Newlines Institute

PUK President Bafel The US

Bafel Jalal Talabani, the President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), states during an interview at the Newlines Institute in Washington: "I believe that engaging in dialogue with everyone, including those we view as rivals, is of utmost significance."  

President Bafel affirms that the PUK is resolute and united 
President Bafel, during his recent visit to the United States, expressed in an interview at the Newlines Institute in Washington that the PUK is now resolute and united. He stated that the judgment of our citizens will be based on the outcome of the previous elections, which will aid us in securing additional seats in the upcoming elections.  
Delaying the elections is an unfavorable strategy
 President Bafel expressed concern over the absence of a parliament in the Kurdistan Region, stating that it has had a detrimental effect on the democratic process in the Region. 

"The events that are taking place in the Kurdistan Region regarding the elections have not happened anywhere else in the world. If a party is unwilling to conduct elections, it is not possible to halt the entire electoral process. Delaying the elections is an unfavorable approach for the Kurdistan Region," he said.
The PUK and KDP are two different parties 
President Bafel characterized the relationship between the PUK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) as unstable, saying: that the PUK and KDP are two different parties, so they have different ideologies, policies, structures, and ways of thinking.

President Bafel further said: "Regarding our shared power, I believe our relations fluctuate between negative, positive, and extremely negative, and this has a significant impact. These interactions are influenced by neighboring countries, particularly their exerted pressures, resulting in imperfect but generally positive relations."
ISIS is still active
In the meantime, the PUK President gave a detailed speech regarding the PUK's relationships and declared, "I have a vision for Iraq." I am going to speak with my brothers in Iran and America, and then with the prime minister of Iraq. We fought alongside our American brothers. 

"Declaring that ISIS is no longer a threat can be difficult due to the fact that it has not been eradicated. Although it has been significantly diminished, the group remains operational and has aspirations of launching a major attack against Kurdistan and Iraq again," he added.
The immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq will not occur 
President Bafel stated that the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq will not occur as previously described. The US will not instantly withdraw its forces from Iraq, but our military relations with the US and coalition forces will persist. 

He also said: "The upcoming phase will involve deliberations on the presence of coalition forces in Iraq, namely whether they should continue to remain in their current capacity or not. This matter necessitates a thorough discussion."
PUK President: I believe in dialogue with everyone
President Bafel expressed his belief in the importance of discussion and understanding during the interview, saying: "I believe that engaging in dialogue with everyone, including those we view as rivals, is of utmost significance. In order to establish peaceful or hostile contacts, we must possess the ability to read and comprehend. Therefore, we strive to foster relationships with everybody."

"In general, my relations with Iran are positive and it is normal to have diplomatic connections with Tehran. We share a border of over 600 kilometers with Iran and have six border gates connecting our countries. We should have diplomatic contacts with them," He further said, "Our diplomatic ties with the US are strong, despite their differences with Iran. It is not unusual to have simultaneous connections with both Iran and the US.  
Dialogue is the best solution to the Kurdish matter
President Bafel also said that war is not a viable solution to address the Kurdish matter in the Middle East, saying "Efforts to wipe out the Kurds by military conflict are futile, whereas engaging in diplomacy represents the most effective resolution to the Kurdish matter."

He added: "My political party can play a role in initiating the peace process between the Kurds and the Turkish government."
The PUK supports Syria
"The PUK supports its brothers and sisters in Syria, there is a resolution passed by the Kurdistan Parliament to aid the Syrian Kurds in their battle against ISIS. There is a significant number of ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq, posing a genuine threat to the surrounding area," he further said, "Our assistance to the Syrian Kurds is unrelated to Turkey, and there is no intention to pose a danger to Turkey or occupy Ankara. As the PUK, we are prepared to participate in negotiations."

The President of the PUK, Bafel Jalal Talabani, has been in the US for a few days. He has multiple diplomatic and political commitments planned, along with various talks with foreign research centers and institutes.


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