Hassan Aydinli met with MEP Struan Stevenson and William Spencer at the EU Parliament in BrusselsJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: Hassan Aydinli, Struan Stevenson MEP, Turkmens' Human Rights, William Spencer
William SPENCER, Executive Director, Institute for International Law and Human Rights and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative
Struan STEVENSON, Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with Iraq and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative.
Hassan Aydinli met with MEP Struan Stevenson and William Spencer at the EU Parliament in Brussels
The Delegation for Relations with Iraq Meeting took place at the EU Parliament in Brussels on 24th January 2013
The object of the Meeting was the Preparation for the 5th Interparliamentary meeting EP-Iraqi CoR. Situation of the country, logistics and practical arrangements.
The guest speaker was Mr. William SPENCER, Executive Director, Institute for International Law and Human Rights. The Meeting was attended by Mrs. Sybille RIEDER, EEAS INTCEN and Mr. Charles STUART, EEAS Security Directorate.
MEP Ms. Ana GOMEZ attended the first half of the meeting.
The Chair, MEP Struan STEVENSON, opened the Meeting by saying that he deplored the continued assassinations and lack of security in Iraq. He also deplored the fact that although Iraq now has a huge income from its massive oil production, the access to electricity, running water and sewage remains very limited. Baghdad is considered to be the second dirtiest city in the world.
MEP Struan STEVENSON announced that the EU Mission to Iraq would take place from 11th to 15th February 2013.
The Members of the EU Delegation will arrive in Baghdad from Vienna on Sunday 10th February where they will hold meetings until Wednesday 13th February. They will be staying at the Rasheed Hotel and all the meetings will take place in the Green Zone for security reasons.
From Wednesday 13th February to Friday 15th February they will be in Erbil to meet with the KRG officials and members of the Civil society.
They will leave Iraq on Friday 15th February 2013.
Mr. Zana KURDA from the Iraqi Embassy said that the Kurdish Peshmerga have offered to take care of the security of the delegation.
MEP Struan Stevenson said that the Delegation would like to visit Kirkuk to meet with the Kirkuk representatives and that they will have to travel by helicopter. MEP Ana GOMEZ intervened to say that this would be a waste of time for the delegation and she advised for the meetings to take place in Erbil.
The Chair then gave the floor to Mr. William SPENCER.
William SPENCER said that the Institute for International Law and Human Rights is a Civil Society NGO, which has worked in Baghdad since 2005, where they established the H.R. Commission. He said they have offices in Brussels, Baghdad and Washington D.C.
He said that the number of attacks have not changed significantly since 2009 in Iraq, that Baghdad and Ninewah remain the most violent.
William SPENCER said that there is great dynamism in construction in Baghdad. He said that the Kurds are now present all over the ‘disputed territories’. He mentioned that in Ninewah people complain that the oil money goes to Erbil. He said that Al-Qaeda terrorists enter in Iraq from the Syrian border.
William SPENCER said that life remains a struggle for ordinary Iraqis and that there is government corruption. He added that Maliki and Barzani want to appear strong before the Provincial elections which are due to take place in April 2013 and the General Elections foreseen in January 2014.
William SPENCER recommended that the Members of the EU Delegation reach out to various groups outside the green zone when they are in Baghdad.
Dr. Hassan AYDINLI spoke with the Chairman MEP Struan Stevenson regarding MEP Ana GOMEZ’s advice against the delegation going to Kirkuk to meet with Kirkuk representatives and her recommendation to hold the meetings in Erbil instead. Hassan AYDINLI told MEP Struan Stevenson that if the EU delegation does not go to Kirkuk to meet with the Kirkuk representatives it is preferable to hold the meetings with them in Baghdad rather than in Erbil.
ITF EU Representative spoke with Mr. William SPENCER about the situation of the Turkmens who are caught between the Arabs and the Kurds. He said that the tensions between Arabs and Kurds have increased since the creation of the Dijla forces, and that when the Dijla and Peshmerga confront each other in the Turkmen Region it is the Turkmens who get killed.
The Turkmens are caught between hammer and anvil and the recent attacks on their leaders and intellectuals in Tuz Khurmatu show that the unarmed Turkmens continue to be targeted and that they are victims of ethnic cleansing.
Mr. Spencer said he was aware of the Turkmens’ plight and that the Turkmens and the minorities who are not armed are at risk in Iraq.
Dr. Hassan Aydinli informed Mr. Spencer that the Central government in Baghdad remains deaf to the Turkmens’ repeated demands to grant the Turkmens their right to defend themselves and form law enforcement units of each locality from the local Turkmens and provide them with financial support and proper training.
He asked Mr. Spencer to be the voice of the Turkmens at the international level and to mention the Turkmens’ plight in the publications of his NGO, the Institute for International Law and Human Rights.