Iraqi Kurdistan at a Crossroads: Current Issues of Domestic and Middle Eastern Politics. Photo: UKH
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Panels of international and local speakers are coming together in Erbil on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss where the Kurdistan Region stands and what it may become in the post-ISIS period within social, governmental, and political frameworks.
“We believe that our conference comes at a pivotal time in the history of our region; it involves recognized international and regional experts from around the world and government officials,” read a statement from the event organizers.
The conference entitled ‘Iraqi Kurdistan at a Crossroads: Current Issues of Domestic and Middle Eastern Politics’ is being hosted by the University of Kurdistan Hewler’s (UKH) Center for Regional and International Studies on at the Sa’ad Abdulla Palace.
The Kurdistan Region has expressed its intention to hold a referendum on independence this year, which coincides with the imminent military defeat of ISIS in Mosul, the last urban area held by the extremist group in Iraq.
Additionally, a national dialogue has been underway between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve outstanding issues such as areas claimed by both capitals under Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, budget and subsidy disagreements, and continued cooperation by Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi forces.
Speakers include a number of intellectuals from the Kurdistan Region, Europe and the United States, as well as opening remarks UKH Vice Chancellor Mohammed Mochtar, UKH Chancellor and Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Tom Grant, a senior research fellow at Wolfson Colloge – Cambridge, and a keynote speeches by Michael Gunter, a professor of political science at Tennessee Technological University and Hamit Bozarslan a senior researcher at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in France.
Organizers hope the event promotes dialogue “under one roof to share research results, ideas and perspectives that would help to better understand new developments and inform policy decisions.”
Rudaw columnists David Romano, a professor at Missouri State University, and Gary Kent, the director of the all-party parliamentary group on the Kurdistan Region in Britain, will also be participating as panelists.