RealNews

Kurdish Leader Urges Uprising in Iraq

A key Kurdish leader issued an impassioned appeal for unity and democracy Thursday, urging the people of Iraq to rise up and establish a democratic country. Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, told delegates and U.S. officials attending a conference on governing Iraq in the event of Saddam Hussein’s ouster that the moment had arrived for the people to “revive themselves and show their power.” “We are people who have struggled. We are struggling for a cause,” he said. “We need an independent Iraq.” Talabani, a veteran guerrilla leader turned politician, gave a rousing and at times pointed speech to those attending the session, which included Zalmay Khalilzad, the White House liaison to the Iraqi opposition. He also attempted to assure Turkey that the Kurds will not declare an independent state, a move the Turks fear could inspire their own sizable Kurdish minority to revolt. “We have a de facto government now, but we are willing to make sacrifices in the future,” he said. “If we were planning to announce independence we wouldn’t be ashamed to say it. We want a democratic, independent Iraqi state.” Full Story

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