Jalal Talabani; the first Kurdish Arab League head/ Ardeshir Pashang

How Talabani chaired the Arab league

While the ashes of World War II were still hot in 1945, Arab League was founded in the presence of six Middle East countries of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Based on the body’s tradition, the head of the host country would chair the conference and lead the league in the next coming year. Before holding the league’s recent conference, it was, however, affirmed that Talabani would be able to head the body.

Talabani’s Kurdish identity made some Arab leaders either inside or outside Iraq to ask for another person to head the conference instead of him. Despite the demands, it was Talabani who finally succeeded to chair the conference and head the Arab League in the following year.

Talabani’s political manner and his sane inclinations and directions, along with his taken balance-making policy in Iraq, as well as his extended amiable and private relationships with Middle East leaders, was undoubtedly significant to be chosen as Iraq’s first representative in the conference and head Arab league’s next leadership.


The Kurds chaired other Arab League’s conference

Talabani was not the only Kurdish official who was Iraq’s top envoy in the conference. The Kurds also headed two other conferences of the league in Baghdad. Arab league is usually made of three separate parts and each part holds its own special conference. We, therefore, had three economic, foreign ministers and leaders’ conferences.

The economic conference that was held in the presence of six economic and financial miser of the members, it was Khairullah Babakir, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)_one of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) ruling parties_ that took hold of the meeting. The third meeting was the foreign ministers conference. The conference, being the main base of the league, was headed by another Kurdish official, Hoshiyar Zebari, who is Baghdad’s foreign minister and is also KDP- inclined politician.


The outlook ahead

Iraq’s special identity structure, which faced a new and almost open political and democratic policy from the beginning of 2003, provided a situation that a non-Arab chair the league’s body for the first time in the 7- decade-long history of the league; A for fetched and impossible event that the body’s leader had never thought about. As spring is approaching and the known Arab spring is still heading on _ a spring that cries for equality and lack of discrimination_ there remains a question that shall we take the conference as a happy event or not.

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