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Flying the Kurdistan flag outside Kurdistan

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Flying the Kurdistan flag outside Kurdistan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:56 pm

Flying the Kurdistan flag outside
the Region: constitutional or not?


Iraq’s ambassador to the Netherlands defended his decision to not attend a conference in The Hague when organizers displayed the Kurdistan Region flag alongside the Iraqi one. The incident sparked an online debate about the constitutionality of the Kurdistan flag

Ambassador Hisham al-Alawi chose not to attend the Agriculture and Food Conference on Wednesday that brought together Dutch, Iraqi, and Kurdish ministers, business leaders, and farmer to discuss the agriculture sector and share knowledge.

Alawi explained that the day before the conference began, he met with organizers to discuss the event, and agree on the program.

The next morning, “before the opening of the conference, we were surprised by the [organizing] team of brother Abdulrahman al-Doski adding the flag of the Kurdistan Region and changing the order of flags inside the hall, responding to the direction and pressure from those within the Regional Government,” Alawi tweeted in explanation.

He said they told the organizers they were violating their agreement and “protocol,” and that the situation would embarrass the embassy.

As a result of the move, the ambassador has faced condemnation on social media, being labeled a “chauvinist,” “fascist,” and “anti-Kurd” by his harshest critics.

The incident has also sparked a conversation about the constitutionality of the Kurdistan flag and respect for that cornerstone document.

“This again proves that the constitution is just a piece of paper unless the political culture and the constitution of the mind would change,” tweeted regional analyst Yerevan Saeed.

Saeed noted that Iraqi ambassadors at other missions have not had a problem attending events where the Kurdistan flag was present, and posited that Alawi’s motives were “personal.”

Alawi, however, defended himself, claiming that hoisting the Region’s flag was against the constitution and the law.

“The style of personal attacks and throwing empty accusations of violating the constitution and not knowing the protocols, and using terms such as fascism and Kurdophobia is inappropriate and not serving anyone,” the ambassador said in a tweet.

He denied that he has any sensitivity towards Kurdistan’s flag, saying his opposition stemmed from his responsibility to Iraq’s unity as Iraq’s ambassador.

“Could you please remind us of the relevant articles in the Iraqi constitution that clearly show recognition of KR [Kurdistan Region] flag and its use in international events outside the borders of Iraq,” asked the ambassador.

Kurds were unsatisfied with his answers, claiming that constitutional recognition of the Kurdistan Region as a federal unit was an automatic recognition of its flag.

“Another reason why Kurdistan needs to be independent,” said Facebook user Roni Demirbag.

Others came to Alawi’s defence.

“Federalism means one state being administered with an administrative system that gives multiple areas and components of the same state the right of administration as related to the security and economic aspects far from centralism,” tweeted Sami Alaskary.

He pointed out that within federalism, “the issue of sovereignty remains in the hands of the federal government. The Region's flag is limited to inside the Region, but outside the country, it is the flag of the federal state, nothing else.”

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/310120192
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