Mr.Kosrat Rasul Ali, Head of the Supreme Political and Interest Council of the PUK, congratulated the people of Kurdistan, on Friday, on the occasion of the Kurdish new year, Newroz, and called for unity among Kurds amid this sensitive conditions that Iraq and the Kurdistan Region is going through.
"On the occasion of the Kurdish new year and Newroz, I offer my warmest congratulations to the people of Kurdistan, courageous Peshmergas and martyrs' families, hoping that this year becomes a year for achieving our nations dreams and unity among political parties to fulfill our nation's goals," Mr. Kosrat Rasul said in a statement.
He also pointed to the uprising of Kirkuk in March 20 of 1991 which coincides with Newroz, in which the people of the city stood against the fascist former Iraqi Ba'ath regime, and said: "The Kurdish new year and Newroz coincides with the anniversary of liberating Kirkuk in spring of 1991, the day we were given the honor of saving Kirkuk and were able to free the city from the grip of the colonizer, Ba'ath regime. Today after passing 29 years over liberating the city, we stress the Kurdistanism of the city and the new Iraqi government should take real steps to implement Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution."
The Kirkuk status referendum was the Kirkuk part of a planned plebiscite to decide whether the disputed territories of Northern Iraq (Kurdish areas that were Arabised during Ba'ath regime) should become part of the Kurdistan Region. The referendum was initially planned for 15 November 2007, but was repeatedly delayed and ultimately never took place.
The referendum was mandated by Article 140 of the Constitution of Iraq. Article 140 required that before the referendum, measures had to be taken to reverse the Arabization policy employed by the Saddam Hussein administration during the Al-Anfal Campaign. Thousands of Kurds returned to Kirkuk following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The referendum was to decide whether enough had returned for the area to be considered Kurdish.
He also called for unity among Kurds in these tough conditions that the country is going through, saying: "This year's Kurdish new year and Newroz coincides a tough and an undesirable condition, coronavirus spread on one hand and the hard economic condition that the Kurdistan Region and Iraq is beginning to face, and on the other hand the issue of forming the new Iraqi government, where these issues all require unity and solidarity and a unified speech among Kurds. We must all be at the level of responsibility for the situation and put our nation's interests above our partisan and individual interests. At the same time the Kurdistan Region's government must have a comprehensive program to counter all of the crises faced by our people."
He also thanked and appreciated the role of Kurdistan Region's doctors, health workers, health teams and Asayish and police forces and called on citizens to keep up with the health safety measures to keep themselves away from infection with the coronavirus and prevent its spreading.
It is noteworthy that according the Kurdistan Region's Ministry of health, so far, the Kurdistan region has 41 coronavirus cases, one of whom died and 13 cases have compeletely recovered.
(Translated and Edited by H.H.)