Monday 8 May in the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw was held the conference „The role of Kurds in the Middle-East” organized by Office of the Representative of Kurdistan Regional Government to Poland in cooperation with private university “Collegium Civitas”. The event brought together Polish and Kurdish experts and scientists from the biggest Polish universities and research centers, journalists and many students.
Session started with the opening speech given by Ziyad Raoof- KRG Representative to Poland. He referred to the title of the conference stressing the fact that the role of Kurds in the Middle East is getting more important. Kurdistan Region is an important player in that part of the world. Each month international leaders- presidents, prime ministers and ministers- visit Erbil. According to Ziyad Raoof, fundamental change resulted from a few factors: the reasonable policy of the Kurdistan Regional Government, international admiration for peace and religious tolerance in Kurdistan, the sensitivity of the Kurds to the fate of refugees, sacrifice in providing them with shelter and the effectiveness of the Peshmerga in the fight against ISIS. As an example of the changing attitude of the world towards Kurdish matters, Ziyad Raoof mentioned the fate of Peshmerga, once indifferent to the international community, today supported by a dozen countries with arms and training. Ziyad Raoof informed the audience about the ongoing preparations for the upcoming Kurdish referendum and declaration of independence that might be announced after referendum.
After the opening Ziyad Raoof’s speech there were held 4 discussion panel featuring 17 scientists. The subject matter was very diverse, from the history of the Kurds, through the political, economic, religious and cultural situation in all parts of Kurdistan, to the analysis of relations with neighboring countries. Each panel ended with the discussion.
The last part of the conference was very interesting panel of journalists and experts moderated by Ziyad Raoof. Journalists from the biggest Polish TV and radio stations (Dawid Wildstein, Bianka Zalewska, Agnieszka Lichnerowicz) along with Krzysztof Strachota (expert from the Center of Eastern Studies) discussed how the situation in Kurdistan is perceived in Poland, the chances of Kurds for becoming independent and how the Kurdistan Regional Government should pursue its policy in the complicated realities of Middle East.
One of listeners of the discussion was Marcin Duszek- Member of Polish parliament. After the short speech at the end of the conference he declared his readiness to support strengthening of Polish-Kurdish relations.
Partners of the conference were also: Polish-Kurdish Foundation and Young Diplomats Forum.