Arabs have 22 countries, Kurds can have more than one state: Kirkuk governor

by The Region   Getty Images  


Kurds may create several independent states like the Arabs did when they established the Arab League, which comprises over 20 states, the governor of the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk, Najmaldin Karim, told Sputnik.

On 7 June, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the autonomous region from Iraq on 25 September, a decision which has been criticised by Baghdad. Following the announcement, authorities of the Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk province decided to take part in the referendum.

"Each part of Kurdistan has its own features. Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Syria can determine themselves as they want. There are 22 Arab countries and we may have more than one Kurdish state," Karim said.

While the Kurds are Syria’s, Iraq’s and Turkey's largest ethnic minority, a significant portion of the Kurdish population also lives in Iran. However, there are different political struggles with different political objectives and ideologies in each territory that Kurds live in. 

While Iraqi Kurdistan is preparing for a referendum on independence in September, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has rejected the idea of state building as an ultimate political goal, opting instead for decentralised governance through local assemblies, what it calls democratic confederalism. 

Since the beginning of the conflict in 2011 the Kurds in Syria have openly distanced themselves from the idea of an independent Kurdish state carved out of northern Syria.