Kurdish issue and China

Kurdish issue and China

Last month, Ali Akbar Velayati, adviser of Iran's supreme leader on international affairs, said that the US want to "split" Syria and have already taken preliminary steps to create and recognize a state on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, in territories where mostly Kurds live. Russian experts confirm that creation of a Kurdish state in the territory of Syria, Iraq and Turkey isn't beneficial to anyone other than the United States.

Meanwhile, the conflict between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan has escalated this autumn. Escalation happened after September 25 of last year, when Kurds held a referendum on independence, not recognized by Iraq. In mid-October, Iraqi security forces launched an operation to restore control over the country's territories, occupied by Kurdish armed units. After a month, on January 20, the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces announced the beginning of the Olive Branch operation against Kurdish formations in Syria's Afrin.

Similar positions on the Kurdish issue were voiced at last year's meeting between Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Turkey, General Hulusi Akar. At that time Khatami stressed Iran's principled policy of maintaining territorial integrity of all countries of the region, saying that the cooperation between Iran, Turkey and Iraq could contribute to strengthening regional stability and security as well as combating separatist actions. In turn, Hulusi Akar stressed common position of Iran, Iraq and Turkey regarding Iraqi Kurdistan: "We have reached political and military agreements on this issue, and Iraqi Kurdistan will face serious economic, political and military sanctions if the current situation continues."

As Breitbart writes in an article "Top Iraqi Kurdistan Leader Urges China to Intensify Role in Middle East", the chancellor of northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has reportedly called on U.S. rival China to “play a greater role” in bringing stability to the Middle East. “Chancellor [Masoud] Barzani expressed his hope that China would play a greater role to help address deep-rooted problems and deliver more stability in the Middle East,” declared the press office of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC). Barzani’s remarks came while he was meeting with a delegation led by the Chinese Ambassador to Iraq, Chen Weiqing, in Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital of Erbil.

China is already seeking deeper cooperation with anti-KRG independence Iran as part of Beijing’s efforts to enhance its military posture in the Middle East, U.S. Gen. Joseph Votel, the top American commander in the region, recently cautioned lawmakers. In late February, Gen. Votel told a House panel: Both China and Russia seek to fill in perceived gaps in U.S. interest by increasing defense cooperation and sales of their equipment to our regional partners. They both are also cultivating multidimensional ties to Iran … China also seeks to increase its economic and diplomatic cooperation with Iran.

As Kurdistan 24 reports: At the meeting, [the Chinese delegation and the KRG chancellor] discussed recent developments and measures to advance bilateral ties between Erbil and Beijing. Weiqing recognized the importance of the Kurdistan Region in ongoing stability and counter-terrorism efforts in the Middle East, according to the KRSC account of the discussion. … They also expressed their commitment to expanding cooperation between the two sides, including economic and trade relations.

According to Breitbart, China erected its Consulate General in the KRG back in December 2014.

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