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tv   Inside Story 2017 Ep 268  Al Jazeera  September 27, 2017 2:32pm-3:01pm AST

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the sooner the killing will end thailand's highest court has sentenced the former prime minister yingluck shinawatra five years in prison for corruption she was found guilty of negligence in a rice subsidy case her government set up before she was ousted from power in twenty seventeen shinawatra the country last month. ranger refugees have escaped a military crackdown in me and accusing the army of raping women and go four hundred eighty thousand granger have fled to bangladesh in the past month in mas government denies the rape claims but has refused to allow international observers in to investigate. tens of thousands of south africans are holding a big nationwide strike today against government corruption and unemployment the country's largest union and a branch of the governing party who organized the protests they want the president jacob zuma to stand down and an investigation to be launched into those allegations of state corruption. drivers are marching in london against the company's working conditions the firm's license to operate wasn't renewed in london because of
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customer safety concerns and unemployment appeal tribunals ruling is forcing it to give drivers the minimum wage and you are right up to date with all the top stories i will see you soon up next elizabeth see it with inside story button. thank. you ed thank you the it the kurds in iraq have voted in the betterment of the hopes of getting their. votes rejected by the iraqi government and neighboring countries to talk an estimate. of the battle of the need for the region.
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with. with. with with hello and welcome to the program i'm elizabeth brought him the kurdish referendum and iraq has been a long time coming it finally happened on monday on after years of campaigning the kurds living in northern iraq have been pushing for independence and the end of world war one in two thousand and five an overwhelming majority said they wanted an independence referendum but it didn't happen now the family voted for secession in an official poll but will that actually translate to independence for the iraqi kurds will get to our guests in just a moment but first how the hammad sets up the story for us from a to b. in. there is certainly a sense of pride and satisfaction among people here pride because many say well they didn't expect to participate in such
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a vote in their lifetime and also satisfaction because in the run up to the referendum they were there was a lot of every hand to the anxiety that violence could erupt in the disputed territories and specifically in kirkuk that did not happen in the day when by and large very safely now the problems that the kurdish region. was facing the day before the referendum are exactly the same and now now there's the added problems with baghdad the central government there making it clear that it regards the vote as unconstitutional prime minister. making clear that he will not allow the decision to ration of iraq in and the other side kurdish president. saying that the time for the fame partnership with iraq is making it clear also to some point this region will break away from iraq now besides all that it has to be said that
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beyond this the threats nothing's has changed on the ground the security cooperation between the two sides is still ongoing very important for the ongoing offensive in how we judge and very important for the international community that it stays as such until the war against isis is over and that should take quite a while yet. thank you and well kurdish officials say the voters non-binding but regional powers have still expressed strong disapproval the iraqi government has denounced the referendum as unconstitutional turkey and iran with their own sizeable kurdish minorities also rejected the vote their concerns a kurdish state could motivate some of the movements and their own countries in the u.s. has spoken out against the referendum worried it might hurt efforts to fight isis and syria and u.n.
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secretary general antonio good hair has issued a statement on monday morning on potentially destabilizing effects of the vote well let's bring in our panel now joining us from baghdad as alley al nash me an iraqi political analyst from had a beer ranch and i'll be a visiting fellow from the brookings doha center and from birmingham in the u.k. laugh after kurdish affairs analyst and director of alpha five consultancy welcome to the program mr allow the and if i missed out with you we are expecting a resounding vote but is the kurdish parliament prepared for independence are they united enough they only met for the first time in two years recently. i think the first thing to point out is that independence isn't going to emerge overnight over the space of the next few weeks this referendum as the kurdish leadership of pointed out and indeed other observers
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is essentially about firstly identifying what the will of the people is rallying support for a potential kurdish state for a potential secession from the rest of iraq but it's also really to kick start formal negotiations regarding a potential secession from iraq that will require negotiations some kind of settlement with the baghdad government dealing with the multiple authorities in baghdad as well. whether the kurds are ready for independence will of course depend on. the unification of the parties but on that point it's worth bearing in mind that for the referendum there were very little hope so expectations that the parties the main parties would rally around a unified mobilize in support of the referendum those were proven wrong leading up to the referendum the kurdish leadership played a central role in getting together the parties and rallying the kurdish people for that unified stance on one kurdish independence but the crucial part of this is
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that in the pen this will be part of a. long challenging process that will require negotiation not negotiate not just with baghdad of course but also the region and the international community mr al nash me if the kurdish people vote for independence well iraq negotiate they have to. no of course mr nobody a brain mr to say yesterday there is no to get in between iraq and could the stand on the basis of intervention because they're driven and it's not cons and constitutionals then they will refuse it if they want to make it and of the negotiation about the but that there should be for us the constitution say that but if they are talking on the one base about the independent they're refusing from the that the iraqi parliament and from the iraqi prime minister i think they will not. mr is the referendum unconstitutional as the iraqi government is saying. well the
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word unconstitutional is something which is thrown around very often quite recklessly and laissez dare i say and has been the case and that has been the case for the past ten years this of course is a question of of law of politics but also one of international law as well the constitution of iraq itself stipulates that iraq is a voluntary union so much of the reasons behind this referendum stem from the crisis of governance and the authority in baghdad the breakdown of security the lack of reconciliation between the kurdish leadership between the k r g and the baghdad government those are all of course complicated aspects and issues that deserve a discussion and in their own and right but i think the reason why we have this current push toward sovereignty stems from the crisis that iraq as a whole faces this is one of lack of good governance one of the breakdown of
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authority the breakdown of security there fattah let me bring you in now the kurds will say that this is constitutional because they signed up to iraq as part of a voluntary union and if they're no longer happy if that union isn't working for them they can walk away the iraqi government will of course say that the constitution doesn't allow for any sector of iraqi society to declare independence is it constitutional and does it does that even matter now at this point. i think the fact that the iraqi constitution doesn't provide for it doesn't make it unconstitutional there's many flaws with the iraqi constitution i mean one of the reasons we actually are in this position is that many of the difficult issues such as disputed territories was actually put off at the time of writing the constitution so we see the result of not having actually tackled those issues back in two thousand and five and two thousand and six that we are in this mess now. and
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it is a voluntary union and every nation has the right to self-determination it's not to legally binding vote the k r g have been very clear on that but they are letting their people express their opinion and it does look like it's going to be an overwhelming yes and since people do have the right to self-determination why have we heard from the un secretary general i'm tony harris against this why is the you went against the vote when the u.n. charter. says that self-determination is enshrined in it i think unfortunately the kurds are always the unfortunate victims of the political realities of the middle east you know everyone always tells the kurds when they also got independence it's not the right time but really when is the right time there's many internal differences amongst the kurds but at the same time iraq is very much a failed state it can't protect itself and it's to be honest the reaction from baghdad has been predictable but disappointing they actually haven't made any moves
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to really say look we don't want you to leave we want you to stay and i think that's a shame you know if they want iraq to remain as one entity then they also have to come to the table with something that's more appealing than what we've had for the last ten fifteen years mr lashmar do you think that the iraqi government has done enough to keep the kurds happy have they been good hosts to the kurds in iraq. no you know the crisis in iraq and snot only for the kurdish because all the iraqi very sobering from from the violence from the economic crisis in order that we can no to. targeted them and we cannot know in the second nationality you know their take all day arrived today. they talk all the high position in the iraqi government and they tug at the financial from the iraqi and they talk now more and more and they no quarter rolling and rolling more they demand to be
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fourteen years old before the american invasion in order that i don't think there is some or with the dealing between the iraqi government and with the kurdish no not us i am the iraqi and i know the good that they have the right to make a state well but not against the iraqi interest now. more than any care injuries and they take all the position and they take a very good financial of from baghdad and they can't get on with all the sources. of the stand and the borders of a culture of more than that in order that i can say economic. better than that in the middle of the south in iraq in order that i think. the government. but it with the dealing but what there are seventy to about it's not only because they are conditioned us not but their but they are the crisis and the
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whole the iraq mr added then do you agree that the kurdish government has only taken from iraq they have of course had the economic success economic progress and we've had strong international condemnation to this referendum the turkish president saying that he's going to turn off the oil taps how would kurdistan export its oil of turkey did that. well i'll take the question in two parts the first is the reality is sovereign states have access to certain advantages and benefits afforded to them by the international system it's true that the k r g did enter into a power sharing arrangement with baghdad since two thousand and three but at the same time that was an arrangement whereby the k r g was dependent on the politics and the nature of politics authority and governance in baghdad where baghdad became increasingly authoritarian where power became concentrated towards one particular side of one particular sphere that power sharing arrangement broke down over the
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past number of years particularly since the us withdrawal in two thousand and eleven now in that relationship of dependency the k r g has been at a disadvantage for example since it economic crisis it's been unable to borrow from from financial markets because financial markets international organizations lend money generally to sovereign states that process has the pending on that recovery has depended on baghdad and because of the politics because of the breakdown in relations and politics in authority that simply hasn't happened the turkish government has of course issued a number of challenges threats through multiple channels particularly the media but it's still unclear whether those threats will actually materialize into anything practical i mean erbil for example right now where over the past few days there's been all sorts of gossip news rumors about. blockades being imposed. crossings
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being closed but none of that is actually founded on it has actually taken place it's very important to separate what's gossip and news from the realities on the ground if indeed there is a blockade and it has to be the worst blockade in history most flights are operating for example airways is still operating quite flights haven't been canceled much of this will depend on. what happens post referendum and from the people i've spoken to here within the kurdish leadership there is a willingness and an effort a genuine effort to. remedy tensions with baghdad to alleviate those concerns that regional powers have had varying a mine of course at the k r g has over the past seven or eight years in particular strengthened its ties with countries like turkey there is on ongoing dialogue that will be crucial to ensuring cooler heads prevail mr al of the next few weeks in particular you talk about the reality on the ground the reality on the ground since
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the referendum is iraqi and turkish military exercises on the border just how dangerous is the situation right now is the potential for conflict for weiland here i mean the middle east as a whole is a volatile region so there is always the potential that it can cross into violent conflict i would hope that this is a case of saber rattling really everybody's talking quite aggressive language and sort of doesn't want to lose face doesn't want to be the person who sort of comes to the table first but i do hope that it won't cross into violent actions and that they do actually come to the table i think it's just the first step holding the referendum in terms of independence was actually the easy part it's not going to be easy to become independent somewhat maybe a mid term aim is to actually have a better form of me within iraq and to push for more in try and rights and actual
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equal behavior and to be treated as a partner a true partner and in this to our national iraq what do you make of that will the iraqi government. giving the kurds greater autonomy treating them as a true partner. yes i think because the next three to demand and about in the money is that they give that authority to the government and i think it's not they winding their struggles and they why doing the difficult between the iraq and the stand i think will be limited and there are many regions from a kind of cool core of the valley of. and valley of morson and i think they waiting sometimes to make a deal with the turkish side and with iran to make many things and co-operated about the sanctions economic sanctions i think their first economic sanction they
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cut the financials. to the support financial support to the government of good to stand. by to go the army of the stand and i think they will all fall to the. side when they stop the took a side stop the. i think that you know i could say they will all fall. to the brink of the company to the most to the builds and most of. us in order that i think we must wait sometimes and now in these days there is a military exercise haven't. taken it has done now between the iraqi army and army we will wait sometimes because they're in there according
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to the good stuff as the call to send say that and the all in order that we wait just sometimes some days or some weeks to know what is the result of what is the reaction coming from step mr nash me let's look at just some of the history the roots behind kurdish asked. now before we continue the discussion the kurds have wanted an independent state since the end of world war one when colonial powers divided up the middle east the territory was split between iraq syria turkey and iran were between a twenty five and thirty million kurds now and the iraqi kurds a mainly in the north they have been relatively autonomous in line nine hundred ninety one with a on federal state army and parliament but this referendum was about making independence official in syria u.s. backed kurds known as the syrian democratic forces have been fighting ice in the north syrian kurds aim for a softer cleared autonomous region known as. turkey's kurds are mainly based in the southeast of the kurdistan workers party or p k k is
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a kurdish rebel group fighting for autonomy in turkey since the nineteen eighties and in iraq kurds make up around ten percent of the population if i can come to you now why should kurds should kurds do you think live by borders that were drawn up you know a colonial carved up essentially drawn up one hundred one years ago by an englishman if we look at the history with a little with little thought to linguistic cultural religious tribe all considerations yes i mean the kurds were provided for a nation in the treaty of server but unfortunate that was then negated by the treaty of lo sun i think you know one hundred of you being denied your nation hurt and a hundred bloody years of genocide of chemical gassing of oppressed uprisings now i think it's all right to actually ask for independence is there ever going to be
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a good time are turkey iran and iraq going to want to ever see those territories and syria probably not. but you know at the same time they perhaps treated the kurds a little bit nicer they might of not been asking for independence with such sort of figure so. i do think the kurds have a right to ask for independence it won't be easy it will take time it will never happen overnight but i think this was a great step by the chaos. they actually went through with it i think a lot of people thought that it wouldn't happen in the end that they would call it off so the people have had their say they voted overwhelmingly for independence but now that's just the very first step on a long run and we have to remember where we are turkey iran and iraq and syria will be our neighbors if we do one day get independence and we will need good relations with them because we'll be landlocked and this national what do you think of what miss fattah had to say how long do you think iraq can really deny the biggest
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ethnic group in the region without their own state their own nation you know this very big problem because of this that i think state between that could stand and iraq and because the problem is the kurdish say all that think there are kurdish there. they say yes these scottish and christian is goodish and sometimes they talk in their top command they are good bush but they change their language this is against the history in order that the government and the historians say you know to there this is this is the places below baghdad in order that we are waiting and from fourteen years the size zero were called lee and do you believe jordan changed their mind and they give a lot of money for their leaders to change their attitudes in order that we heard before the fire and we had many thems of years you deal with christiane or
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something of that took a month they talk every day talk we are not command we are kurdish very but i village is they they promise them to say burma's that leaders of the local leaders for many brigitta villages when they they make they there for them they make the intervention. in order that we know and in our constitution we want a term we have a term that term say one hundred forty about that i think it places between. and more sun valley now the problem is that you. give birth. to the iraqi forces to go to count on the link that places that place is was and. that of the league of the iraqi government before. but when the eyes. of the shoes there and the contour this land. the body of most of all i think the problem is between if they sold i think.
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well i didn't step all right mr al nash may i just want to get around. in here what do you think the kurds will do next you know how will they proceed in a region that completely disregards their independence how do they move forward i think what this referendum has done it's taken the kurds. across a line whereby it can no longer be business as usual one positive outcome that could emanate from this referendum regionally that is and in terms of relations with baghdad and internationally is that it would encourage the region international powers like the u.s. to take this breakdown in relations between the baghdad more seriously and play a more positive role and proactive role in mediating those tensions and finding that grand settlement that can stabilize iraq as
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a whole as it continues to struggle with the threat from isis terrorist attacks and other threats to security as well for the kurdish leadership what i've witnessed here in erbil so far is a certain level headedness don't forget of course this is a leadership that has long standing ties to the main play. as actors in baghdad some of them even fought alongside each other against the former baath regime for example i also mentioned earlier that the k r g has had a strong relationship and they continuously developing relationships with regional powers like turkey those channels will be crucial to ensuring things develop in a peaceful way and as i said earlier ensuring that cooler heads prevail at the end of the day war will be costly for everybody whether that's the k.-r. g whether that's baghdad this actually of his particular stretch right now as it continues its operations in the rest of iraq mr elden i'm afraid that is all the time we have today thank you to all our guests alyea nash made ranch and latha and
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thank you for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that facebook dot com forward slash a.j. and side story you can also join the conversation on twitter handles at a.j. inside story from mail is a problem and the whole team by fanatics. a new level of luxury has arrived. an experience that will transform the way we try.
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