Remarks by Nechirvan Barzani, deputy chairman of the KDP, which is led by Massoud Barzani, the president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq and also Nechirvan Barzani's uncle, was interviewed by Arbil-based English-language news site Rudaw. Some excerpts from the interview were published on Sunday, while the full text will be published today.
Barzani said he will “meet with all sides” in order to facilitate the deployment of peshmerga forces along the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan with Turkey and Iran.
Stressing that he is in the middle of extensive diplomatic efforts to diffuse the tension at the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan with Iran, Barzani added: “We do not want trouble and war. We are now trying diplomatically and peacefully to deploy our forces at the border.”
The interview comes days after Barzani visited Tehran and held talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Also last week, Massoud Barzani said terrorist organizations had provided Iran and Turkey with an excuse to bomb his homeland, which could lead to more violence.
Calling for an end to the violence on all sides, Massoud Barzani implicitly accused the terrorist groups of provoking the two countries.
Since 1984, Turkey has been fighting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which uses northern Iraq as a base for hit-and-run attacks on Turkish targets. Along the Iranian border, members of the Iranian Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the PKK, have battled Iran for years. Both groups are seeking autonomy in their countries.
This summer Iran sporadically shelled PJAK bases deep inside Iraqi Kurdish territory and Turkey has, in recent days, carried out a series of airstrikes that have killed as many as 100 PKK members in what has been one of their strongest offensives yet.
Lawmakers in Iraqi Kurdistan on Friday demanded Turkey apologize for the air strikes across their border and called for a closure of Turkish military bases inside Iraqi territory.
“We demand an end to the presence of Turkish military bases and its intelligence agencies in Kurdistan's territory,” the Iraqi Kurdish parliament said in a statement. “We demand the Turkish government issue a formal apology to the people and the Kurdistan government.”
Nechirvan Barzani has, meanwhile, suggested that the boycott of the Turkish Parliament by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) following this summer's elections was a “strategic mistake” that should not have been made.