KT news briefing, 22nd March 2014

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Ocalan: Pursuing peace is harder than war

The imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, addressed his people during the Nawroz Celebration in the city of Diyarbakir (Amed). In a letter delivered through the BDP’s leaders to the public, Ocalan said that to pursue peace is harder than launching war. He said “it is our historical responsibility to be sensitive when constructing peace.” Ocalan praised women and youth as two major elements of a developed and peaceful society and, therefore, he encouraged their participation in the political system and peace process. Ocalan urged the Turkish Government to form a legal framework for the current dialogues in order to be successful. He said Turkey has two options: one is stick with the current corrupted system with the risk of “recurring coups”, the other is a radical democratic one. (KT)

US and Baghdad welcome KRG oil exports

The US Embassy Baghdad and Iraqi Government welcomed the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) decision to export 100, 000 oil bpd through Iraq’s pipelines. On his Twitter account Brett McGurk, the US Deputy Secretary Assistant for Iraq and Iran, said the US government welcomed the KRG’s decision to export 100, 000 oil bpd without preconditions. Hussain Shahrstani, the Iraqi Deputy PM for Energy, also welcomed Erbil’s initiative and indicated that the Erbil-Baghdad talks resulted in this decision by Erbil. He hoped that the KRG will increase the amount in the coming days. (KT)

ISIL threat grows in Iraq

The so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Levant’ (ISIL) has conducted a series of attacks and car bombings in different areas in Iraq. In the last few days, ISIL took control over suburban areas of Salahadeen, Kirkuk and Diyala. In their attacks, ISIL killed high-level Iraqi police officers and exploded two bridges in Diyala and Salahadeen. The Iraqi Army has failed to confront the ISIL attacks and, moreover, ISIL is now controlling more villages in areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad. (Xendan)

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