Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Somalia twin bombings kill 18 in Mogadishu

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Arming the "good guys"?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Gun Control in the United States: Will the Florida shooting be the turning point?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Giving a voice to the homeless in France

Read more

REPORTERS

'Never Again': The students pushing for US gun control

Read more

#TECH 24

A bright future for solar power

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Winter in France's Burgundy vineyards

Read more

FOCUS

How French cyber police are patrolling the 'Dark Web'

Read more

ENCORE!

Marseille mon amour: Mediterranean city celebrates love

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

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

2018-02-21 Africa

Opposition activist Evan Mawarire: Zimbabweans hope they can 'reset our future'

Evan Mawarire is a pastor who became a leading human rights and democracy advocate in Zimbabwe after posting videos calling on his fellow citizens to challenge the rule of Robert...

Read more

2018-02-17 Americas

Photographer Pete Souza shares his ‘portrait’ of Obama

Pete Souza was the chief official White House photographer for former president Barack Obama. He shadowed Obama for the whole eight years of his presidency and has now published...

Read more

2018-02-13 Middle East

Syria's White Helmets: 'We had 400 casualties last week'

Since their creation in 2011, the Syrian voluntary rescue workers known as the White Helmets have been credited with saving thousands of lives. And as they pull people from the...

Read more

2018-02-14 Americas

Russian interference in US elections is 'a serious threat to our democracy'

Alberto Gonzales served as US Attorney General under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, becoming the first ever Hispanic to hold the position. He gives us his take on...

Read more

2018-02-10 Africa

The devastating impact of climate change on Niger and Mali

The Azawak valley, a Florida-sized area spread over Mali and Niger, used to have the best pastoral lands in West Africa. But with climate change, people are either dying of...

Read more