Pro-Kurdish HDP delegation visits Iraq's KRG, meets with leaders
A delegation of officials from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) arrived in the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Erbil on Saturday for a four-day visit to hold talks with authorities and political leaders.
Headed by the HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli, the delegation met with the leader of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Massoud Barzani, on Saturday and KRG President Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday, Voice of America Turkish reported.
The two sides spoke of, among other topics, the current political situation of the Kurds in Turkey and working together on a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish issue in the country, Barzani said on Twitter.
The HDP delegation is set to meet with other senior KRG officials in the coming days to discuss the latest developments in the region
, it said.
HDP co-chair Temelli, in a press conference after the meeting with Massoud Barzani, said the two sides were “looking for a democratic process to establish security and stability in the region, especially for the Kurds.”
Nechirvan Barzani, who maintains good relations with Ankara, said that it was time for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey.
The visit follows a controversial move by Ankara last month to remove three HDP mayors from office in Turkey’s southeast, which is the stronghold of the Kurdish political movement.
The Turkish government began a crackdown against Kurdish politicians following the 2015 collapse of the peace process between the state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war for autonomy in Turkey for over three decades.
Over 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been killed in the decades-long conflict with the PKK and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Ankara accuses the HDP of harbouring sympathy and acting in the interest of the outlawed PKK.
Close to a hundred pro-Kurdish mayors of provinces and districts were removed from office following the July 2016 coup attempt.