President Barzani extends greetings to Iraq, Kurdistan's Communist parties on the 90th anniversary

President Barzani extends greetings to Iraq, Kurdistan's Communist parties on the 90th anniversary

Shafaq News/ President Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Region on Sunday conveyed greetings to the Communist parties of Iraq and Kurdistan on their 90th anniversary.

In a statement released by his bureau earlier today, President Barzani said, "I congratulate the leadership of the Communist parties in Iraq and Kurdistan, their members, supporters, and the masses in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region on the anniversary of their establishment, and I wish them continued progress and success."

He paid tribute to the historical struggle and national role those parties played in Iraq and Kurdistan's history and their involvement in the political process, honoring" the activists who devoted their lives to serving the people and the nation."

Separately, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani offered his congratulations on the milestone anniversary.

"It is my pleasure, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Kurdish and Iraqi Communist parties, to extend my warmest felicitations and best wishes to the secretaries of the parties, members of their central committees, and all their members and supporters in Kurdistan and Iraq," Prime Minister Barzani remarked.

He wished both parties success in their mission for "relentless advocacy for freedom, democracy, and the rights of the Kurdish people."

The Kurdistan Communist Party was technically founded in 1993, although in reality this simply meant the branch of the Iraqi Communist Party in what had become the Kurdistan Region was now solely responsible for its own affairs in the new de facto independent area.

The Iraqi party dates its foundation back to 1934. It played a vital role in the formation of the country's working-class organizations, including the establishment of trade unions. The party has experienced periods of legality and illegality throughout its existence and had a contradictory relationship with the Ba’ath Party that ruled the country for nearly four decades.

In 1963, the U.S.-backed Baathist coup that deposed Abd al-Karim Qasim led to thousands of Communist Party members being slaughtered in the following days, with party leader Salam Adil among those executed. The party was banned in 1979, going underground and waging an armed struggle from the mountains of Kurdistan against the Saddam Hussein regime. Though the Iraqi party, as well as its Kurdish sister party set up in 1993, opposed the U.S. invasion of 2003, the democratization of politics that has taken place since has allowed the Iraqi Communist Party to take on a renewed prominence in Iraq. They entered the Saiirun Alliance in 2018, which became the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament.

Aziz Muhammad, who passed away in 2017, was a legendary figure on the Kurdish and Iraqi left and was symbolic of the Communist Party's approach to unity between Arabs and Kurds, serving as leader of the Iraqi party from 1964 to 1993, then of the independent Kurdish party after that.

Although fraternity between nations has long been the Communist Party's objective and one of its important rallying cries, the Kurdish Communist Party today is supportive of independence for Kurdistan—and not just the Iraqi part, but also those parts of the Kurdish homeland that sit within the borders of Turkey, Syria, and Iran.

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