Jerusalem: Israel is in favour of establishment of a Kurdish state. Even as the Kurds in Iraq gear up for a referendum on independence which is opposed by Iraqi lawmakers, Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his support to the Kurdish people on Wednesday.
Arab News has quoted his remarks which he sent to foreign correspondents by his office thus: “(Israel) supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state.”
It must be noted that Israel views Kurds as minority ethnic group and has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with them since the 1960s. Kurds indigenous population is split between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran — as a buffer against shared Arab adversaries.
Meanwhile Iraq’s Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani on Tuesday, vowed that he would press ahead with the Sept. 25 referendum despite a vote by Iraq’s parliament rejecting it.
It must be recalled that Netanyahu had voiced support for “the Kurds’ aspirations for independence” in a speech in 2014, saying they deserve “political independence.” He is due to address the UN General Assembly on Sept. 19.
Kurds have been seeking autonomy since at least the end of World War One.