Israel's Netanyahu calls for supporting Kurdish independence

Iraqi Kurds, who have ethnic compatriots in Iran, Turkey and Syria, have hesitated to declare full independence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced support for Kurdish statehood on Sunday, taking a position that appeared to clash with the US reference to keep sectarian war-torn Iraq united.

Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, seeing in the minority ethnic group a buffer against shared Arab adversaries.

The Kurds have seized on recent sectarian chaos in Iraq to expand their autonomous northern territory to include Kirkuk, which sits on vast oil deposits that could make the independent state many dream of economically viable.

But Iraqi Kurds, who have ethnic compatriots in Iran, Turkey and Syria, have hesitated to declare full independence, one reason being the feared response of neighbouring countries.

"We should... support the Kurdish aspiration for independence," Netanyahu told Tel Aviv University's INSS think-tank, after outlining what he described as the collapse of Iraq and other Middle East regions under strife between Arab Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims.

Kurds, Netanyahu said, "are a fighting people that has proved its political commitment, political moderation, and deserves political independence".

Washington wants Iraq's crumbling unity restored. Last Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Iraqi Kurdish leaders and urged them to seek political integration with Baghdad.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi Arabia spends money to make money

Saudi Arabia spends money to make money

Tour of Asia by Saudi Arabia's King Salman advances drive to...

Where is Bahrain headed?

Where is Bahrain headed?

The kingdom has identified jewels in its accelerating non-oil...

3
Trump, Saudi Arabia in mutual embrace

Trump, Saudi Arabia in mutual embrace

US President Donald Trump may not be popular in much of the Muslim...

Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking