ERBIL (The New Anatolian)–President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region–Massoud Barzani–said Monday in an interview with Al-Arabia television that an independent Kurdistan is the right of Iraqi Kurds–but for now remaining within the borders of a federalist–democratic Iraq serves their interest.
Asked whether Iraqi Kurdish groups might seek an independent state–Barzani said that struggling for and dreaming about independence is "a right of every Kurdish individual" and further that "nobody can deny this right to the Kurds."
"But for now–remaining within the borders of a federal–democratic Iraq fructifies the Kurdish interest. Presumably the dream and desire of an independent Kurdistan for the next generation or even in our time will be realized," Barzani said.
Barzani also expressed optimism about the resolution of the Kirkuk issue by the new Iraqi Government and stressed that pursuing the issue is a priority of the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Iraqi Kurdish leader further expressed his belief that "the Kurdish question of neighboring countries" can be solved by democratic and peaceful means–through dialogue.
Barzani’s remarks are likely to cause concern in Ankara–which fears a civil war in Iraq and wider regional instability should the country fall apart and the Iraqi Kurds seek independence.