Socialist International meeting at the United Nation's office in Geneva. Photo: Courtesy of Hemin Hawrami, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party's Foreign Relations Department.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Socialist International (SI), the worldwide organization of 153 progressive political parties, officially supports the Kurdish "call for self-determination" and praises the crucial role Peshmerga forces play "in fighting terrorism."
“The Kurdish aspiration for peace, dialogue and democratic solutions with Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran are well received and supported by SI, which supports their calls for self-determination," according to a draft declaration issued on the Kurdish region by the SI on Saturday.
It added that they welcome "the right to self-determination through mutual understanding for a new formula between the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] and the Iraqi government."
Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani has repeatedly called for a referendum on Kurdish independence to be held this year, before US elections take place in November.
In a recent interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Züricher Zeitung, Barzani said that Inshallah, God willing this year the Kurdistan Region will hold a referendum because it is "ripe for independence."
He asked the Kurdish parliament last year to lay the groundwork for a referendum on Kurdish independence. That project however was put on hold due to the war with the Islamic State (ISIS). But, following many important victories against the Islamic State, Barzani last month renewed the political workings necessary for a poll on independence, calling for an all-party meeting to discuss and establish the steps to hold a referendum.
SI explained that it appreciates the positive role Kurds play in fighting terrorism and helping Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) amid instabilities and war in the region.
"The SI recognizes the Kurdish issue in the region and the positive role played by Kurdish forces in general and Peshmerga forces in particular, in fighting terrorism and providing a safe and hospitable environment for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)," reads the draft.
Outside of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the SI supports a democratic and peaceful resolution of the Kurdish case in Syria’s Rojava, eastern Kurdistan in Iran, and northern Kurdistan in Turkey.
The council of the Socialist International realizes that the Middle East is going through a critical juncture as "sectarianism, national chauvinism, terrorism, lack of good governance and bad economic conditions have engulfed the region with instability."
For a better Middle East, the SI "encourages all sides to exercise restraint, avoid violence and resort to politics for conflict resolution."
The draft declaration on the Kurdish issue was released at a meeting of the Socialist International, which began on July 1 at the United Nations in Geneva.
"The meeting of the Socialist International opened today at the United Nations in Geneva. The discussions are focusing on three main themes: ‘Strengthening the political and humanitarian response to current international crises’, ‘Defending and securing democracy: supporting the struggle for rights and freedoms where they are under threat’, and ‘The need for an economy that works for all - defeating inequality in the world economy," according to Socialist International's official website.
"The Council meeting includes the participation of political leaders, parliamentarians, office holders from SI member parties from all continents, and other high level participants," stated Hemin Hawrami, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP) foreign relations department, in a Facebook post on Saturday. Hawrami is leading his party's delegation to the meeting.
Socialist International, founded in 1951, is a worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties. It currently brings together 153 political parties and organizations from all continents.