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UNSC’s Resolution 688 was “a Turning Point”: Kurdistan President

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Monday issued a statement to mark the 30th anniversary of the Resolution 688 by the United Nations Security Council to protect the Kurds from the Baath regime, saying it was “a turning point for Kurdistan”.

Today, we mark the 30th anniversary of an important day in the history of the people of Kurdistan. Thirty years ago, on this day, April 5, 1991, the United Nations’ Security Council issued Resolution 688. With this resolution, the No-Fly Zone was established as a safe haven.

“This decision was a historic turning point for Kurdistan following the large-scale exodus of people fleeing to the mountains and then to the neighboring Iran and Turkey. The exodus was a testament of defiance from the people of Kurdistan against the oppression committed by the former Iraqi regime. The UN Resolution established peace and led to the protection of the people of Kurdistan. It paved the way for the 1992 elections and the establishment of the parliament, government, and the Kurdistan Region,” Barzani wrote in his statement.

The Kurdish president emphasized that the resolution started a new chapter in the history of the Kurdistan Region by creating new opportunities for the Kurdistan to merge as a success story in the wider region, promoting peace, coexistence, and democracy.

Barzani noted that 30 years after the international reaction to the repression against the Kurds, it is imperative that dialogue and tolerance replace the disputes and hostilities, and that with the support of the international communities, the Kurdistan Region and the Federal Government reach a lasting agreement for a more promising future for all parties.

“On this day, we appreciate and salute the international community, which made the right decision and issued the UN resolution. The people and leadership of Kurdistan have proved that they will contribute to peace and prosperity if given the opportunity. We urge the international community to support us to take further steps towards a better future, peace, and stability for Iraq, the greater region and the world. We can together preserve and promote universal values and confront terror and extremism,” the president added.

“We extend our gratitude to Iran and Turkey for hosting the refugees from Kurdistan. We thank all nations that took part in the issuing of the Resolution 688, which led to the establishment of a safe haven for the people of Kurdistan. We thank the United Nations and the Non-governmental organizations. We appreciate the public opinion and people across the world who encouraged their governments to protect the people of Kurdistan. We will always remember your support and ask for your further support and partnership.”

Earlier today, senior officials and foreign diplomats gathered in Erbil to commemorate the Resolution 688 by naming a street in the capital city after former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major, and naming another street “Safe Haven”.

During one of the ceremonies, Safeen Dizayee, the head of KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations, said the Kurds honor those who helped them during the hard times of 1991.