President Barzani's Address at Conference of Turkey's Ruling Party in Ankara | |

Dear Receb Tayib Erdogan, Prime Minister and leader of the AK Party.
Dear delegates of the 4th conference of the AK Party
Dear Guests
I thank you for inviting us to participate in this conference and we wish you a successful conference and we all await its important decisions.

Since the AK party came to power, Turkey has increasingly been making great strides forward and today Turkey enjoys newfound significance at both the international and regional levels. But we all recognize that our region has problems. We also know that there is no problem that cannot be resolved provided there is a will to do so.

For us it’s very unfortunate to see a Turk or a Kurd or any other people shed blood. We the peoples of this region must extend the hand of friendship to one another instead of killing each other.

The policy of your party and of your leader is the right policy to address these problems. Here I want to very much thank Mr. Erdogan for his courage both when, during a visit to Diyarbekir, he said that the Kurdish problem must be addressed, and when he visited us in Erbil last year and said that the days of denying the existence of the Kurdish people is over.
I see it as incumbent on all Kurds to reciprocate this by supporting his policy and for all Kurdish parties to distance themselves from use of violence, because we believe violence will not lead anywhere.

The strength of any country or political entity does not lie in how much military power it enjoys; the strength lies in how well it serves its people and in the polices that are followed. The strength of the AK party and of Mr. Erdogan lies in the open policy that they are following both when addressing internal problems and when addressing external challenges.

We are ready to provide all kinds of support for Mr. Erdogan’s policy to end violence and we hope that this problem can be resolved as soon as possible. Dialogue, understanding, and peaceful means are the ways to address all outstanding political issues.

Turkey is an important country both internationally and regionally. We would like to see strong and friendly relations between Iraq and Turkey, and within the framework of these relations we are very happy to see such positive relations between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey. Annual trade between Iraq and Turkey stands at 12 billion dollars, 80% of which is with the Kurdistan Region.

The Middle East region has been witnessing great changes. We fully support peoples of the region fighting for their rights and freedom. We support the Syrian people in their struggle for freedom and liberation. It’s very tragic to see the large numbers of people being killed in Syria. We hope this bloodshed ends and the Syrian people determine their future as soon as possible. We highly appreciate Turkey’s policy to open its doors to Syrian refugees and it reminds us of 1988 and 1991 when Turkish people embraced our people facing tragedy and fleeing chemical weapons and the Anfal campaign. Here, I want to thank the Turkish people for their hospitality and kindness they extended to our people in that time. Today, 29,000 Syrian refugees have come to us for refuge. Our doors are open to them and we will welcome them.

Finally, I would like to once again thank you for your invitation and wish success for your conference