On Tuesday the Centre for Kurdish Progress was pleased to host Mr Lahur Talabany, a prominent political figure in the KRG, who has withdrawn from politics somewhat for the past year.
Mr Talabany, to a packed-out Committee Room of 140 in the heart of Parliament, launched his political philosophy, showing courage and intellectual bravery in equal measure.
Among other things, Mr Talabany discussed his commitment to the Iraqi nation. He expressed his pride that the Iraqi constitution protects and enshrines the rights of Kurdish people, and his belief that the way forward for Kurds was to progress within, not outside of, these boundaries. He expressed his belief that Kurdish people had to be pragmatic rather than ideological – they had to try to form good relationships with Syria, despite what they might feel about the current regime.
Throughout, he expressed a strong commitment to democracy and peace, and his definitive abhorrence at the prospect of further bloodshed within the region. He also expressed his disappointment in the corruption within the Kurdish political system.
Mr Talabany spoke to a full-house and was showered with questions from an attentive and passionate audience. While not everyone in the room agreed with him, all were extremely respectful, and thoroughly involved in their approach.