Kawa Hassan, EWI's director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, was in Iraq's region of Kurdistan last month to speak at the fourth annual Sulaimani Forum.
Hassan was part of the Turmoil and Disorder: A New Sykes Picot? panel that discussed the possibility of breakups and alliances emerging from the current turmoil in Iraq.
Hassan said for Iraqi Kurds the Sykes-Picot was seen as an agreement that had caused tremendous violence and genocide. The reality, he argued, was that Iraqi Kurdistan was fragmented and had many political rivalries, depended economically on Turkey, and that the current crisis had revealed a weakness in the Kurdish governance in Iraq.
Hassan stressed that for Kurdish parties in Iraq there needed to be a common understanding of joined vision about which kind of Iraq they would like to see and a plan to achieve results from negotiations with Iraq in the future, as well as addressing the political and economic disadvantages in the region.
Click here for a summary of the panel's discussion. The 2016 Sulaimani Forum was held on March 16-17 at the American University of Iraq.