Meg Hillier MP Labour Co-operative for Hackney South and Shoreditch opening speech in the Joint Forum ‘the Crisis in Iraq: Unexpected Alliances, Western Intervention and the Question of Kurdistan’.
“We live in troubled times, but troubles in Northern Iraq and Kurdistan are particularly pertinent right now.
I think what is interesting for me as an MP representing a lot of Kurdish people and people from the region in Hackney and of course, other colleges from North East London, some of whom will be here tonight, know that we have been aware of some of these issues for some time, some of the challenges faced by the Kurds. But one of the realities of the awfulness of the situation now is that it is bringing those concerns to a wider British audience. And I think that, though for terrible reasons, does give some hope that the desires and needs of the Kurds to be recognised and to have independence is something that is, at the end of all of this, be higher, I hope, on the agenda.
We also as politicians in parliament face challenging times about what decisions our government will make and there are a number of government speakers here tonight who I am sure will take questions about that at the end. I do not think anyone will pretend that there is an easy solution, but I am clear about one thing that we cannot always stand by and watch while terrible things happen to people. We have refugees and murdering going, that is effecting so many thousands of people that we must make sure that we act as appropriately but effectively to ease the suffering in that part of the world and in the end, as well as easing suffering, it is in all the world’s interest to try and bring peace to that region.”