Nechirvan Barzani: We lost a great advocate of democracy, tolerance and peace

Today the world lost a great political leader who valued democracy and peace more than his own lost life in prison.

It is with the greatest sorrow we learned of the passing of Nelson Mandela, a man who personified the struggle for human dignity, equality and sense of justice.

Although he did not have a chance to visit Kurdistan, he felt strongly for the Kurdish cause and made it clear on several occasions that our struggle to survive and achieve justice was a universal call.

We also felt that we had many things in common with Mandela’s vision for his country. We admired his call for forgiveness, tolerance, non-violent political solutions, and truth and reconciliation.

For us, Mandela was a great reminder that years of imprisonment and suffering can be turned into tremendous strength for the greater good of the society, human dignity and a new source of inspiration.

The most important lesson I personally learned from Mandela’s life was to recognize past injustice and focus on future improvement of human conditions.

Mandela taught us that we can transform ourselves and our societies by doing what we humanly can to avoid revenge. By doing so he changed his his own country and most political leaders’ expectations. He taught the entire world that humility combined with determination can change the course of history in a constructive way.

Although we will be missing a great unifier, Mandela's words and deeds will remain with us for generations in the human struggle to provide a better prospect for humanity.

We will miss a great advocate of democracy, tolerance and non-violence.

Nechirvan Barzani,
Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government

 

 

 

 

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