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Jalal Talabani: Kurds pay tribute to PUK founder

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Jalal Talabani: Kurds pay tribute to PUK founder

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:25 pm

Jalal Talabani: Kurds pay
tribute to PUK founder


Kurdish leaders on Thursday paid tribute to Jalal Talabani, a founder of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Iraq’s first post-Saddam president, who died two years ago.

Mam (uncle) Jalal, as he is affectionately known, died on October 3, 2017, having suffered a stroke several years prior.

Nechirvan Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, issued a statement on Thursday describing Mam Jalal as a “revolutionary leader” whose death left a “big vacuum” in politics and state affairs.

“In today’s issues and complications, Iraq and the Region feel the absence of Mam Jalal more than ever. Mam Jalal was indeed the symbol of joint work,” he said.

It was Mam Jalal’s cooperation with the former president Masoud Barzani that helped democratize Iraq and instill the rights of Kurds in Iraq’s 2005 constitution, the president said.

“Today, while we remember Mam Jalal, the best way to honor him is the unity of our people and partnership in administration and political work, relations and like-mindedness of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and all the parties of Kurdistan,” he added.

Iraqi President Barham Salih, who is a leading PUK member, hailed Mam Jalal as a leader of Kurdish nationalism and a “brave and democratic leader”.

“[Mam Jalal’s name] is a name that history will preserve in its bright pages as an immortal golden record as a symbol in the Kurdish nationalist movement and the national, fraternal, and co-existence of peoples,” Salih said.

In the absence of Mam Jalal, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, the Middle East are all facing “a condition shrouded in danger”,

Lahur Sheikh Jangi Talabani, Mam Jalal’s nephew and head of the PUK’s Counterterrorism Service, said the PUK founder’s absence had left Kurdistan, Iraq, and the wider Middle East facing “a condition shrouded in danger”.

He said the PUK should be a “partner, not a participant” in the governance of the Kurdistan Region. “The time has come for the Patriotic Union, depending on the path of Mam Jalal and his martyrs, to establish equilibrium in ruling, partnership in decision making, and building,” he added.

Kosrat Rasool Ali, the PUK’s deputy secretary general, urged party members to learn by Mam Jalal’s example.

“To execute the current and future fateful tasks on the level of the [Kurdistan] Region, Iraq and the region, for organizational and party tasks, for tranquility and togetherness, we need the insight and experience of Mam Jalal,” he said.

A commemoration event was held at Mam Jalal’s resting place in Sulaimani on Thursday.

“The US Consulate General in Erbil extends its sincere condolences to the family, friends, and all the people of the IKR and Iraq on the second anniversary of the passing of Mam Jalal #Talabani. He demonstrated courage, perseverance, and inclusivity in leading Iraq through challenging and difficult times,” the US consulate general in Erbil said in a short message on Thursday.

Jalal Hissamadin Nourallah Talabani was born in 1933 in the village of Kalkan at the base of Kosrat Mountain. He graduated from the University of Baghdad in 1959 with a degree in law. He joined the KDP, at that time the major Kurdish party in Iraq, in 1947.

He quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed head of KDP’s Union of Kurdistan’s Students in 1953. He became a member of KDP politburo a year later.

Following the failure of the September Revolution in 1975, Mam Jalal and a group of senior Kurdish figures broke away to form the PUK. He remained its Secretary General until his death in 2017.

After the fall of the Saddam regime, Mam Jalal became the first Kurdish president of Iraq in 2005.

In December 2012, Mam Jalal suffered a stroke. He remained in a Berlin hospital for several years.

He died on October 3, 2017, aged 83.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/031020191
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Jalal Talabani: Kurds pay tribute to PUK founder

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