October 30, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 9002

Iraq's Kurdistan Parliament Expresses Solidarity With France, Its Right To Protect The Freedom Of Speech In Wake Of Muslims' Anti-France Protests Over Cartoon Depicting Prophet

October 30, 2020
Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 9002

On October 29, 2020, Iraqi website Sot Al-Iraq News published a report highlighting the Kurdistan Parliament's expression of solidarity with the French government and its right to protect the freedom of speech from radical Islam.[1]

The report said that a delegation from the Kurdistan Parliament visited the French Consulate in Erbil to extend support to France as it faces a wave of criticism from Muslim countries, in response to French President Emanuel Macron's recent pledge to protect the right to freedom of speech, including the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

The report further highlighted the Kurdish people's appreciation of France's supportive stance over the years to their cause, noting that the delegation's solidarity with the French government and people during this time reflects the official position of Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Delegates of the Kurdistan Parliament talking to reporters after visiting the French Consulate in Erbil (Source: the Kurdistan Parliament's Twitter account, October 29, 2020.)

The following is a translation of the report:

A delegation from the Kurdistan Parliament, headed by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Hayman Hawrami, and lawmakers from various parliamentary blocs, visited the French Consulate in Erbil on October 29, to confirm the position of the people of the Kurdistan region, who support France and its people.

Hawrami told reporters that the visit to the French consulate is meant to clarify the official position of the people of Kurdistan towards France, explaining that the people of Kurdistan want to express their appreciation to the people of France and its government for their support of the Kurdish people over the past decades.

"The people of Kurdistan condemn violence of any kind, whether physical or cultural, against freedoms, coexistence, the freedom of opinion, and against religious diversity wherever it exist in the world," Hawrami said, adding: "In the Kurdistan region, we are proud of our ethnic and national diversity and of our religious tolerance."

He stressed that France and its people have always been supportive of the cause of the Kurdish people and their liberation movement, recalling "the supportive stance of the former French First Lady Danielle Mitterrand, who was among the first officials to visit the camps of the Kurdish refugees who fled from [the ethnic cleansing campaign] of Anfal and, from the use of chemical weapons, committed by the regime of Saddam Hussein," he said.

He further noted that "France was the first European country to recognize the Kurdistan Parliament."

Hawrami explained that "the position of the parliamentary delegation is the official position of the people of Kurdistan," adding that "the Kurdistan Parliament distances itself from any other positions issued by some lawmakers in regards to the recent statements of the French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he addressed radical Islam."

Hawrami said that the delegation informed the French Consulate of the message of the people of Kurdistan to the French people, describing it as "a message of friendship."

He concluded by saying that a delegation from the Kurdistan region will visit Paris soon, noting that in return, a high-ranking French delegation will be visiting Erbil.


[1], October 29, 2020.

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