Top contender for US Secretary of State backs an independent Kurdistan


John R. Bolton. File photo: AP

ARA News

Erbil – Former UN Ambassador and top contender for the US Secretary of State, John Bolton, has said an independent Kurdish state is emerging, “which could be in America’s favour”.

“The Kurds are moving inexorably toward de jure declaration of a ‘Kurdistan’ of uncertain reach,” John Bolton said last Sunday.

Bolton had earlier wrote that an independent Kurdistan is emerging after years of effort.

“The functional independence of Kurdistan reinforces this approach. The Kurds have finally become too big a force in the region for Baghdad or Damascus to push them around. They will not be cajoled or coerced into relinquishing territory they now control to Mr. Assad in Syria or to Iraq’s Shiite militias,” he wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times in November 2015.

“The Kurds still face enormous challenges, with dangerously uncertain borders, especially with Turkey. But an independent Kurdistan that has international recognition could work in America’s favor,” he said.

John Bolton last summer told the Kurdish news channel Rudaw that the US should support Kurdish independence.

“I think the government of Iraq has collapsed,” he said. “I don’t think it can be put back together. I have said the Kurds in Iraq have demonstrated being capable of governing themselves. I don’t see them ever going back voluntarily.”

He said that the decision to stay or separate from Iraq is a decision for the Kurds to make, adding: “But I believe the United States should be supportive of their legitimate aspirations.”

David Romano, a Professor of Middle East Politics at Missouri State University, said that the Trump presidency could be favorable to the Kurds in Iraq.

“A number of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy advisors, or people close to them, already seem favorable to Kurdish statehood under the right conditions. Your humble columnist has corresponded with some of them to hear their views on the issue, although it would be impolite to name names at this time,” he said.

Some Kurds in Syria have branded the US President-Elect Trump as Bave Şores, or father of revolution. Syrian Kurds hope that the new administration would recognize federalism, while the Kurds in Iraq hope that the US-administration would end their ‘one Iraq’ policy.

Majdal Delli, a member of the Kurdish Yekiti Party, told ARA News that the Kurds might fare better dealing with Republicans rather than Democrats.

“European and American leaders have started trusting the Kurds more than any of the leaders in the Middle East,” Delli said. “We are looking forward to having Trump support our independence in [Iraqi Kurdistan]. Also, we need to have his help to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.”

However, the Kurds have negative experiences with US officials backtracking on their positions when assuming governmental posts. For instance, in 2006, Joe Biden as a US senator called for dividing Iraq in three regions, but when he became the vice-president under Obama he called for Iraqi unity.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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