Tensions between PUK and Gorran in Iraqi
Kurdistan worry businessmen
January 15, 2010
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — A member of the
Sulaimaniyah Chamber of Commerce says that the
recent tensions between Jalal Talabani, secretary-
general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, and
Nawshirwan Mustafa, leader of Gorran (Change)
Movement is harming the economy of the province.
"Businessmen want to be sure about their investment
in the area," said Yaseen Rahim, a member of the
Chamber. "But the recent political tensions worry
businessmen about the future of their projects."
In recent months
tensions between PUK and Gorran has dramatically
escalated. Both parties launched an aggressive media
attack against each other and both leaders traded
accusation about their past history. The situation
deteriorated to a level that Massoud Barzani,
President of the Iraqi Kurdistan, had to interfere
to ease the tension.
Early this week, Barzani managed to broker an
agreement between the two factions to stop media
campaign against each other.
For many people, the media war was a reminder of the
catastrophic civil war that the region went through
in the mid of 1990s.
Since the fall of the Bath regime in 2003, the
region has witnessed a dramatic improvement in
economic and business opportunities. Hundreds of
regional and international companies have invested
in the region.
"Foreign investors never invest in a place where
tensions and conflicts are about to breakout," Rahim
However, Muhammad Karim, Chairman of the
Sulaimaniyah-based Kurdish Economy Forum, said that
the recent media war between the two factions will
not discourage business people to invest in the
region, "(The tensions) will not create huge
problems for the (province's) economy," he said.
"Besides this is not like a war between two
Karim said that parts of the escalation of the
tensions between PUK and Gorran can be labeled as
election campaign for the Iraqi parliamentary
elections scheduled to be held on March 7th, 2010.
PUK is part of a coalition of more than a dozen
Kurdish parties to run in the election,www.ekurd.netwhile
Gorran is running in a single slate. Gorran, PUK and
its coalition, and the Kurdistan Islamic Union are
the main parities to compete to for the region's 41
seats in the Iraqi parliament.
Rahim said that recently a number of European
companies agreed to invest in Sulaimaniyah, but when
they heard about Iranian bombardments of the
villages along the Iraqi-Iranian borders in
Kurdistan region, they decided not to invest in the
Iranian military has been shelling Kurdish along the
border for months claiming that the Iranian Kurdish
guerrillas staging attacks on Iranian targets from
Some business people said that the situation in
Sulaimaniyah. Chima Salih, Director of Clean
Company, said that the tensions worry them, "An
investor who makes (profit) in years would be scared
when tensions occur in the country."
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