A Socialist International Mission visited Northern Iraq on 17-23 June to gather first hand information on the Kurdish areas and to evaluate the implementation of the Washington Agreements between the two leading Kurdish parties: the Kurdish Democratic Party, KDP, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK.
Members of the Mission were: Conny Fredriksson, Chair of the SIMEC Working Group on the Kurdish Question and Morgan Johansson, from the Swedish Social Democratic Party, SAP; Karim Pakzad, from the Socialist Party of France, PS; and Karl Schramek, from the Social Democratic Party of Austria, SPÖ. The Mission met the leaders of the two Kurdish parties: Massoud Barzani, leader of the KDP, and Jalal Talabani, leader of the PUK.
The Mission members reported having observed noticeable changes: urban infrastructure and information networks have been developed, whilst education and healthcare services have been improved. The members of the Mission renew the SI support for the work of the common parliament in the Kurdish areas, as agreed by the PUK and the KDP in Washington in 1998, restating the will of the International to assist in this process.
A full report of the Mission will be presented to the next meeting of the SI Middle East Committee.