Ziyad Raoof’ opening speech at IX MENA Conference Between East and West- Middle East laboratory

On October 18 at the university Collegium Civitas in Warsaw took place 9th edition of the  Conference “Between East and West- Middle East laboratory”. Opening speeches were given by Ziyad Raoof- KRG Representative in Poland and Mahmoud Khalifa- Ambassador of Palestine in Poland. Later there were 4 discussion panels: “contemporary threats- between East and West”, “MENA Security or Human Rights”, “Laboratory of North and Middle East Africa- geopolitics”, “Contemporary Security Threats in Asia”.

Ziyad Raoof in his speech adverted to two important events that happened one year ago in Kurdistan: independence referendum on September 25 and invasion on Kirkuk and so called disputed territories on October 16. KRG Representative spoke about important role of Kurdistan Region in stabilizing and providing stability for the Middle East. The confirmation of this was the effective fight against ISIS, and the events after the annexation of Kirkuk and the so-called areas disputed by the Iraqi army and the Shia militia.

Since the ISIS attack on Iraq, the Kurdish Peshmerga have been successfully defended these areas and ensured security for all. Now when they were forced to pull back, ISIS again grow stronger and entire villages are desolating because their inhabitants are running out of fear of terrorists.

Ziyad Raoof ended his speech with a conclusion that Kurdish authorities will strive for establishing partner relations with Baghdad and joint work for stability of Iraq. However, the matter of independence remains topical as every nation has a right to self-determination.

The conference was organized under the patronage of KRG Representation in Poland.