The Kurdish leadership, and most specifically Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, on Monday condemned recent violence that targeted the offices of Kurdish parties, and staff of two Kurdistan-based media outlets. The Prime Minister stressed that the Kurdistan Region is about to enter a new era that requires unity, not divisions, stating that a divided house cannot survive. He described Sunday night’s attacks as “illegitimate and illegal” and that those responsible should be prosecuted according to the laws of the Kurdistan Region.
Meanwhile, the US State Department in a statement commended Masoud Barzani’s decision to not extend his term and promised to support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) new leadership. It added that “President Barzani is a historic figure and courageous leader,” emphasizing that the decision to not seek an extension “represents an act of statesmanship during a difficult period.” The US also called on the Government of Iraq and the KRG to work urgently to resolve pending issues and avoid clashes from flaring up again.
Lastly, ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has left Spain and traveled to Brussels amid a federal takeover in the regional capital of Barcelona by authorities from Madrid. Puigdemont and five aides went to Brussels on Monday to meet with lawyers. The Catalan president faces sedition charges issued by a court in Spain after the Catalan parliament declared independence on Friday. If prosecuted and found guilty of “rebellion,” Puigdemont could serve up to 30 years in a Spanish prison.