Leader of the Change (Gorran) Movement, Nawshirwan Mustafa, returned back to Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Saturday from a medical trip in London. Mustafa arrived early this morning into Sulaimani International Airport. His office had not previously provided a definitive time frame for Mustafa’s return to the Kurdistan Region, however the possibility of a May 9 return had been circulated according to a member of the Kurdistan Parliament from Gorran, Munira Othman, NRT reported. Mustafa went to Germany for medical treatment in September 2015. After his stay in Germany, he went to the U.K. for a “medical follow-up”. He returned to Kurdistan for a short time in April 2016. Shorsh Haji, spokesperson of Gorran told Rudaw that he was unaware of what prompted Mustafa’s return. Since then the Gorran head has been largely absent amid a political crisis that has threatened at times to destabilize the region. Gorran has 24 seats in now-closed Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament, the second most after the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The Kurdistan Region’s Department of Foreign Affairs expressed concerns over comments by Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi, who stated that Iran would be against an independence referendum in the region. Self-determination is a “natural” right of the Kurdish people who have suffered greatly to have their own state, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on its official website. “As it has been officially stated by the Kurdistan Regional Government, the referendum and Kurdistan independence is an internal matter for Iraq”, the statement read. “Through dialogue and understanding with Baghdad this will be discussed and decided. “We reject any statement beyond that and emphasize that intervention by any side is not allowed”, it added. It is up to the Kurdish people to decide on independence as is their own undisputed right, the statement read. Qassemi, said during a press conference on Monday that Iran supports the unity of Iraq’s soil and national sovereignty. “We oppose any division and separation from Iraq”, Qassemi added. “There is an endless distance to achieve this [independence of Kurdistan] because of different views between the Kurds and the region”. Qassemi said Kurds should not refuse the sovereignty and unity of Iraq as they have rights in Iraq’s constitution.
Sirvan Zahawi, the head of the anti-corruption committee told nrt tv that the committee continues its investigation to carry out reform to fight corruption. “Four to five members, three of whom are in this cabinet, have been selected. They may not be corruptors but their names have been chosen. Accusation is not a crime. You will be called to defend yourself” Zahawi noted. Kurdistan considered as the most corrupted part of Iraq. According to Kurdish lawmakers billions of dollars are missing from Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil revenues.
The increasing number of inter-ethnic marriages are happening for a number of reasons, not all of them savoury. Once upon a time it would have been frowned upon but, thanks to displacement caused by the security crisis, more Kurdish and Arab families are intermarrying in northern Iraq. Because marriage in Iraq and in Iraqi Kurdistan still tends to be a conservative tradition, where couples are arranged through families or matchmakers, and men have far more choice than women, it seems that it is usually Kurdish men marrying Arab women.