Rise of the Kurdistan Factor in Regional Geopolitics

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-10-84-93

S. Ivanov, Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation; Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, 12, Rozhdestvenka Str., Moscow, 107031, Russian Federation; Security Council of the Russian Federation (krimov46@mail.ru).

Abstract. This article explores a general situation in the Middle East as well as the role and value of Kurds in regional geopolitics. The author concludes that in the context of a growing threat of the radical Islamists take-over in a number of the Middle East states, the ISIS strengthening, the incitement of a widespread armed conflict between Sunni and Shia communities, and a tendency towards Syria and Iraq territories turning into the area for an open confrontation between regional centers of power, the Kurds intrinsically become a "Third Force" and play an increasingly important role in stabilizing the military-political situation both in each country of their compact settlements and in the region as a whole. The 40-million strong Kurdish nation, divided by borders of four states, preserves its language, rich spiritual and cultural heritage, manners and customs (and hangs on to its age-old dream to create an independent state). The main attention is paid to the Iraqi Kurdistan as to an advance party of the Kurdish national movement. Today, the Kurdish region of Iraq has all attributes of the state, successfully carries out foreign policy and economic activity. The author notes an important role of Erbil as an intermediary in resolving inter-Arab contradictions in Iraq, for the unity of Kurds in Syria, for a peaceful solution of the Kurdish problem in Turkey. A very important statement is the potential of Iraqi Kurdistan to turn into a national and cultural center of all Kurdish people, and to proclaim an independent state on the North of Iraq, if necessary.

Keywords: Middle East, Arab and Muslim countries, radical Islam, terrorist groups, civil wars, Kurds, Iraqi Kurdistan

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For citation:
Ivanov S. Rise of the Kurdistan Factor in Regional Geopolitics. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 10, pp. 84-93. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2015-10-84-93

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