Speaker of Kurdistan’s Parliament Given a Difficult Welcome to the UK. UK 24/02/16, The New Mail The Ex Speaker of Iraqi Kurdistan’s parliament, Yousef Mohammed, made an unofficial visit to the UK on 23rd Feb 2016. Given the lack of an official invitation, he was not formally greeted on his arrival in the UK’s parliament, but he was greeted by a couple of young UK MPs, who arranged to meet with him and discuss aspect of Kurdistan. The meeting was organised by members of the Movement for Change, and the meeting lasted for an hour and a half.
This might be taken as simply the normal process of international politics for Kurdistan, where visits must often be organised quickly and without the kind of official invitations that might draw protests from countries opposed to it. Yet the visit was marred by somewhat strange behaviour on the part of the Movement for Change, as only their members were allowed to enter the conference that took place in parliament, Movement for change members have rented the venue in Parliament for themselves only , in fact anyone can rent this room in the UK even without politic positions . also they have send an invitations to most Kurdish community and their members to attend yousif’s meeting, in addition Goran ( the Movement for change party) has sent an invitation to all its members in UK .The only media covering the conference consisted of NRT TV and KNN, both known as channels supported by opposition parties in Kurdistan.
The atmosphere became somewhat heated as a crowd of people tried to enter the conference hall to take part in or observe proceedings, but found themselves denied access. It was blamed on a lack of seats, but might also have had something to do with the fact that they had chanted slogans against the Movement for Change previously.
The New Mail has managed to contact Kurdish community member Abdul Mejeed Sindi, who attempted to attend the meeting and who was one of those turned away from the discussions. He said “We went to attend the conference in London’s parliament buildings with the intention of asking Mr Yousef Mohammed some questions about Kurdistan, but we couldn’t as the venue was too small and there were not enough seats.” Although those outside weren’t able to hear any of what went on as “the hall was too noisy” Abdul Mejeed Sindi is clear “My opinion is that Mr Yousef Mohammed came to the UK for one reason: to get support for the Movement for Change party, rather than all of Kurdistan.” That perception appears to have been shared by many of those there, leaving them dissatisfied with both the opportunities to discuss Kurdistan’s needs and the level of organisation at the meeting. While the MPs involved cannot be blamed given what was an unofficial visit, it does appear that it would have been better if a wider range of individuals could have been involved to give a full picture of Kurdistan’s needs.
The Movement for Change party was established in 2009 by Nushirwan Mustafa, who resigned from the PUK party in Kurdistan to do so. It is a secular party opposed to both the Kurdistan Alliance and union. Currently, it is one of the opposition parties in Kurdistan. If it is attempting to generate support outside the region, then the question must be asked why. Hopefully, it is a question Yousef Mohammed will be able to answer in the near future.
The New Mail Staff