Ammar al-Hakim: Israel only country which would recognize a Kurdish state

Ammar al-Hakim: Israel only country which would recognize a Kurdish state
4 years ago

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SULAIMANI — Iraq’s National Coalition Chief, Ammar al-Hakim, said on Wednesday (April 19) that Israel would be the only country to recognize a Kurdish state if it were declared.

Hakim stated the U.S. administration has repeatedly declared its commitment to the territorial integrity of Iraq.

“Personally I do not know a state other than Israel which can recognize a Kurdish state if it is announced at the moment,” Hakim said in an interview with Egyptian ON Live TV.

He added Iraqi officials have received assurances from the new U.S. administration of its commitment to the unity of Iraq, as well as the commitment of previous administrations.

Hakim said Kurdish officials have a 70-year ambition to announce a Kurdish state, which could continue for another decade whether it were achieved or not.

Kurds seek self-determination to have their own state having a logic that they can have a country the way Arabs have 22 countries as well as Turks and Persians who have their own countries, Hakim added.

"I think that the current situation is not conducive for the region, in terms of the internal structure of Kurdistan and the size of the political, economic and security problems and challenges faced the region, and in terms of the Iraqi equation and the fragile conditions and challenges facing Iraq, and in terms of regional and international conditions,” he continued.

Hakim noted U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed a commitment to support Iraq's unity, but added, "This does not eliminate the Kurdish ambition to have a Kurdish state in light of the difficult economic and political challenges experienced by the region."

Earlier this month Kurdish parties announced a plan to hold a referendum on independence this year.

Kurds said the expected "yes" outcome would strengthen their hand in talks on self-determination with Baghdad, and would not mean automatically declaring independence.