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Duhok: Kurdish National Council and TEV‑DEM form new body

KURDWATCH, November 7, 2014—From October 14 to 22, 2014, representatives of the Kurdish National Council and the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV‑DEM), a PKK‑institution, held negotiations in the Iraqi-Kurdish city of Duhok regarding possible cooperation. In a press statement released on October 22, 2014, they announced the formation of a »Kurdish Decision-making Body« intended to work out a common strategy and a unified Kurdish political position. The »Supreme Kurdish Committee«, in which the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan, also a PKK‑institution, and the Kurdish National Council both had fifty percent representation, has already failed at this task. Parties that are not members of the Kurdish National Council or TEV‑DEM are to comprise twenty percent of the members of the »Kurdish Decision-making Body«. However, there are disputes between the Kurdish National Council and TEV‑DEM regarding which parties should be included. The statement also announced that the governments appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are to be joined politically and administratively, and that the Kurdish National Council will take part in the government. Furthermore, the statement reported that both sides have made important decisions regarding the strengthening of their defense forces. Representatives of the Kurdish National Council are said to have called for the formation of a Kurdish Army under the leadership of the new committee. TEV‑DEM reportedly stated that it is not responsible for this issue and would pass the leadership role over to the People’s Defense Units (YPG), the PYD’s militia. The negotiators are said to have agreed that each group has the right to its own defense forces. Thus far the PYD has forcefully prevented other political parties from building up their own forces.

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