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Latest update : 2017-10-20

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Bafel Talabani – the son of late Iraqi president and Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani – blasted the decision of the Kurdish leadership to go ahead with a referendum on independence, calling it a "colossal mistake". He said a US proposal to postpone the referendum by two years should have been accepted and would have avoided the current situation, in which Iraqi federal forces have taken back control of areas controlled by Kurds since 2014.

Bafel Talabani strongly denied accusations presented in some Kurdish media that he had betrayed Kurdish leaders by allowing Iraqi government troops and their Shiite militia allies to seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. He rejected as "baseless" claims that this was part of a deal he had brokered with Baghdad and Tehran, arguing that his forces had indeed fought and lost soldiers but decided to withdraw because of too many losses among the ranks of Peshmergas.

The son of the late president said that Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, had offered a deal to avoid skirmishes in Kirkuk but that it had been rejected by the Kurdish leadership. He added that he was concerned about fighting between different Kurdish factions and expressed the hope that they would eventually reconcile and coordinate to work toward a future independence.

Bafel Talabani called for the Kurdish people as a whole to negociate with Bagdad and to re-engage the international community.

By Marc PERELMAN

Archives

2018-05-24 Africa

Presidential meeting signals 'another chapter' in Franco-Rwandan relations

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said "another chapter" is beginning for Kigali and Paris. Relations between the two countries have...

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2018-05-23 nuclear Iran

'We are seeking a new deal', Pompeo advisor says on Iran

Brian Hook is a senior policy advisor to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In an interview with FRANCE 24, he laid out the US position on Iran following Donald Trump's...

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2018-05-16 Americas

'We are persecuted by KKK,' Maduro says of Trump era

As Venezuela holds its presidential election on Sunday, President Nicolas Maduro’s opponent has asked how the vote can possibly be fair amid ongoing repression and as opposition...

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2018-05-16 Middle East

Former Iranian FM urges EU to show 'independence' from US on nuclear deal

Kamal Kharrazi is the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations and was foreign minister from 1997 to 2005. In an interview with FRANCE 24, he reacted to the US...

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2018-05-16 Middle East

Former Arab League chief: 'The one-state solution should be put on the agenda'

Amr Moussa is a former Egytian foreign minister and former head of the Arab League. In an interview with FRANCE 24, he advocated for a one-state solution to the...

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