Cale Salih, Visiting Fellow, ECFR London
Stefan Bantle, Head Iraq Task Force, Federal Foreign Office of Germany
Olaf Böhnke, Head of ECFR Berlin
The ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria with ISIS militants gradually expanding their influence over the region brought the Kurdish question back into the limelight of European politics and international affairs. Against this backdrop, on 19 February 2015, ECFR’s Berlin Office hosted Cale Salih (Visiting Fellow, ECFR London) and Stefan Bantle (Head Iraq Task Force, German Federal Foreign Office) for a Black Coffee Morning to discuss the new dynamics of the Kurdish issue and elaborate in greater detail about its regional and international implications.
Ms Salih presented the current state of affairs of the Kurdish movement in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, after which Mr Bantle discussed German efforts at settling the Kurdish question. Participants highlighted the difficulties Western countries face when dealing with the complexities of such deep-rooted conflicts in the Middle-East. Hence, they found that only a comprehensive approach is adequate to ease tensions in the region over the Kurdish issue. Such a strategy must tackle problems on multiple fronts, and, in essence, would include political, military and humanitarian instruments as a basis for international involvement in the process.