Iraq Kurdish leader sees little gains at Syria conference
Publish Date: Jan 22, 2014
Iraq Kurdish leader sees little gains at Syria conference
Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani (C) gives a press conference on November 17, 2013, in Diyarbakir, Turkey (AFP Photo/Mehmet Engin)
  • mail
  • img

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani said Tuesday he expected very little from the Geneva II peace conference on Syria and warned of the dangers of extremist groups gaining ground.

"The Geneva II conference will be the opportunity for the Syrian people to decide their own destiny but personally, I am not very optimistic," Barzani told the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament.
The situation in neighbouring Syria is "very worrying for Iraq in general and Kurdistan province in particular because everything which happens in Syria has a direct knock-on effect," he said.
Groups linked to Al-Qaeda were very active in Syria and were a "direct menace" to the Kurdish area, he said.
"In no case can it be allowed that such terrorist groups gain power in Syria," he said, warning that the groups making up the rebel FSA seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad did not appear well placed to take his place.
In September, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region Arbil was hit by several attacks, blamed on extremist groups fighting in Syria.
The Kurdish autonomous region has backed Kurds in Syria against the extremists and has taken in some 200,000 refugees from the bloody conflict.
The so-called Geneva II conference, which opens Wednesday in Switzerland, is aimed at agreeing a political transition in Syria but the talks promise to be difficult, with the rebels divided and suspicious and Assad showing no signs he will step down of his own wish.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Syrian paper recounts rescue of downed Russian pilot
Syrian special forces launched an operation "behind enemy lines" to rescue the surviving crew member of a Russian warplane downed by Turkey, Syria's Al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday....
US Republicans move to dump Trump
Many say the populist crazy talk is typical of the White House primaries, but Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's increasingly incendiary remarks are leading some conservatives to brand him a "fascist" and party rivals to ramp up attacks against him....
IS claims deadly Tunisia bus bombing
The Islamic State group on Wednesday claimed the bombing of a presidential guard bus in the Tunisian capital that killed at least 12 people....
Kenyan president fires five graft-tainted ministers
President Uhuru Kenyatta fired five government ministers embroiled in corruption scandals in a cabinet reshuffle late Tuesday amid growing criticism of runaway graft in Kenya....
Germany to send 650 troops to Mali to relieve France
Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against the Islamic State jihadists....
Nigeria faces separatist pressure over oil wealth sharing
When Boko Haram captured territory in Nigeria's northeast last year and declared a caliphate, there were real fears for the sovereignty of Africa's most populous nation....
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter