Jan 27 2018

Kurdish statehood dreams have dimmed again – columnist

The prospect of a Kurdish sovereign state has dimmed again due to the adamant opposition of the countries where they live, a Bloomberg columnist wrote.

The Kurds, numbering some 30 million, are the world’s largest ethnic group without a state, columnist Donna Abu-Nasr said. But their best hope of independence passed a century ago, and since then the Kurds have lived as minorities across a handful of countries in the Middle East.

The most recent push for statehood came from Iraq’s Kurds, who overwhelmingly voted in favour of independence for their part of northern Iraq in a referendum last year.

Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria all stood against Iraqi Kurdish independence, worrying it might feed secessionist calls from their own Kurdish minorities. The United State was also against the vote, fearing that the remainder of Iraq would descend into a Sunni-Shi’ite conflict, Abu-Nasr wrote.

Now there is no pan-Kurdish movement, and Kurdish leaders are badly disunited, Abu-Nasr said.

Oil, the main source of revenue in the Kurdish-dominant landlocked regions, depends of its neighbours for export.

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