Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the KRG’s Department for Foreign Relations, joined the Heads of British and Kurdistani universities, academics and students at the launch of the Kurdistan International Studies Unit at the University of Leicester, and its first annual symposium on the role of Kurds in the Middle East.
Professor Iain Gillespie, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Leicester University, thanked the History, Politics and International Relations Department and said: “Kurds have a long history in the Region, and the developments in the Region have made them important players. This unit and the annual symposium focus on gathering intellectuals to exchange views and to shed light on the most important research on Kurds and the Middle East.”
Organiser, Dr. Mariana Charountaki said that the unit’s aim is to carry out more academic research on Kurds and Kurdistan, and added: “We chose the 29th anniversary of the chemical bombardment of Halabja to launch this centre and to dedicate our work to the victims of Halabja”
In his speech, Minister Falah Mustafa, expressed his sorrow and gratitude to the people of Halabja on the 29th anniversary of the Halabja catastrophe and the victims of the later Daesh genocide. He said: “The history of the Kurds is often written by non-Kurds. This unit is very important for the Kurds and international academics in order to carry out joint research projects on relevant issues.”
The Minister also highlighted the victories of the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army in the liberation of Mosul and added. “All components of Iraq have the right to decide a better future, justice, and a political agreement on coexistence in Iraq.”
Minister Falah Mustafa also pointed out the impact of the economic and financial crisis on the Kurdistan Region, and its government’s reforms, and said that economic independence is an important part of Kurdistan’s future. He said the Kurdistan Region has made many achievements but needs to do more, with more support and assistance from the international community. He thanked the University of Leicester’s Department for History and International Relations for establishing the unit, which could do much to lift understanding of the role of Kurds and Kurdistan. The Presidents of the Kurdistani and British universities stressed the need for joint projects.