SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region on Saturday commemorated the third anniversary of the passing of Mam Jalal, with officials paying tributes to the former Iraqi president.
Former Iraqi President and Secretary-General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Mam Jalal died in Germany on October 3, 2017.
Talabani is known among the Kurds as Mam Jalal or Uncle Jalal.
He was the first elected non-Arab president of Iraq who oversaw the immediate aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Talabani was elected as the Iraqi president in 2005 and re-elected for a second term in 2010.
He is also known for his pragmatic and compromising politics that set a balance between Iraq’s various components, including Arabs and Kurds, Shia and Sunni Arabs.
Talabani is portrayed as a Kurdish leader who sacrificed his entire life to achieve the cultural and national rights of the Kurds.
“On this day and three years ago, the people of Kurdistan and all Iraqis, the political process, peace and coexistence in our country lost a struggler and a Peshmerga who spent more than half a century of his life in the liberation and democratic struggle,” the PUK Politburo said in a statement.
The PUK’s politburo promised to continue on the approach of Mam Jalal to achieve the national and democratic goals of the Kurdistan Region’s people.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani hoped Mam Jalal’s sons, Bafel Talabani and Qubad Talabani, would continue to perpetuate their father’s path to achieve the people’s dream.
“I feel his loss now more than ever,” Barzani said in a statement.
Iraqi President Barham Salih also said Iraq and the Kurdistan Region are in greater need for the wisdom of Mam Jalal.
“In the midst of the crisis in Iraq and in the Kurdistan Region, we need to perpetuate the policy of Mam Jalal’s bouquet of roses in order to overcome the challenges and crises,” Salih stated.
Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, for his part, said in a tweet that he remembers with respect the long struggle of Mam Jalal for the freedom of the Kurdistan’s people.
“We feel his absence and important role now more than ever.”
The U.S. Consulate-General in Erbil also extended its condolences to the people of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region on the third anniversary of the passing of Mam Jalal.
“Talabani demonstrated persistence, braveness, wisdom, and inclusivity in leading Iraq through challenging and difficult times,” the U.S. consulate tweeted.
Deputy Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Hemin Hawrami also extended his condolences to all members of the PUK in a tweet.
“In the 3rd anniversary of Mam Jalal Talabani’s passing, I extend my sincere condolences to all PUK members. His experience and important role in Kurdistan & Iraq politics, the vacuum he left is now more felt. We wish kak @qubadjt & Kak @Bafeltalabani to continue in his path.”