Jack Lopresti MP’s letter in the Times


Your leading article (“Stand by the Kurds”, May 2) rightly emphasises that democracies should not abandon allies such as the Kurds. They were not actually left in the lurch after their uprising against Saddam Hussein in 1991. British people were shocked to see two million Kurds flee to the freezing mountains and this encouraged John Major to win support for a no-fly zone and safe haven. This undoubtedly saved the Kurds from likely further genocide for 12 years. The Kurds regard Sir John as a hero for this; Tony Blair is also greatly respected there for supporting the 2003 liberation of Iraq.

The Kurds now in Iraq deserve greater support. They are militarily reliable and their secular and religiously moderate politics make them a powerful antidote to extremism. Isis has not been eliminated and Iraqi Sunnis, among whom it found support, have yet to resettle. The Kurds could be pivotal in Iraq and the wider Middle East. Your article does much to encourage practical and political support for a people who are natural allies.

Jack Lopresti, MP
Chairman, all-party parliamentary group on the Kurdistan region in Iraq, House of Commons

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