Krista van Velzen (Socialist Party) promised that they will work for establishing a monument in the capital of the Netherlands, the Hague, to remember the chemical attacks against Kurds by the Baath regime in the nineties. She said they are also trying to help to get medicines and support to the targeted region. A Dutch local politician reminded the participants that this will take some time.
Her colleague of the liberal party VVD, Fred Teeven, who prosecuted the war criminal Frans van Anraat(he supplied Saddam Hussein with chemicals), said his party is also ‘very interested in Kurdistan’, although they weren’t very involved in the Kurdish matter before. Next summer Fred Teeven will travel to Northern Iraq to give lectures to Kurdistan judges and prosecutors to handle tax fraud, terrorism and other cases.
Joel Voordewind of the Christian Union said his party is busy with a new law proposal to prohibit the denial of genocides. “The Kurdish genocide is also mentioned in this proposal. The law is ready now.” But he confessed that there is resistance against the law, because the ‘Armenian genocide’ is also mentioned in the proposal. “It’s especially a sensitive issue in Turkey.” Voordewind also revealed that his party proposed to increase the budget for the health care in Kurdistan and 5-6 million Euro was sent to the UNCHR and the Red Cross in Northern Iraq last year.
SP-member Sadet Karabulut gave an emotional speech in which she said that the ‘Kurdish question must be solved in Turkey, this is very important for humanity’. “We have to support the Kurdish and Turkish people in their struggle for democracy”. She especially criticized the recent arrests of Kurdish politicians in Turkey. But despite this she thinks that Europe and America cannot bring a solution. “Turkey and Kurds must solve it themselves, not by foreign governments that pursue their own war politics. Also in Iraq, Kurds and the Iraqi people in general, must solve it themselves.”
Burhan Jaf, Head of Kurdistan Region’s Mission to the European Union, one of the main speakers, focused on the concept of federalism as the most suitable solution for Iraq and the commitment of the Kurds to that state structure and the Iraqi constitution. Despite that many analysts predict a civil war between the Kurdish and Iraqi government, Jaff argued that this is less likely.
Jaf also contradicted earlier worried statements of Kurdish politicians who were afraid of an American withdrawal from Iraq. “We are happy, like most of Iraq with the steps to redraw. We are going back to normalization. We want peace and for us Kurds, a federal democratic state.”
He also briefly spoke about the coming Kurdish elections in July and predicted there will be ‘considerable opposition within the Kurdistan parliament’ in the future. “This will be a turning point”. The meeting ended with several remarks and questions from students and MPs. According to Burhan Jaff it was a good opportunity to exchange ideas.