Kurd leader Demirtas urges world to denounce Turkey’s ‘unjust war’

Updated 06 August 2015

Kurd leader Demirtas urges world to denounce Turkey’s ‘unjust war’

BRUSSELS: Turkey’s Kurdish political leader Selahattin Demirtas on Thursday urged the world to denounce Ankara’s new “unjust war” on rebel Kurds and asked the EU to push clearly for a truce.
During an unscheduled visit to Brussels, Demirtas told AFP he spoke by telephone last week with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and that he would meet with her top aide Stefano Manservisi here on Friday.
“The European Union must very clearly and openly support negotiations between the PKK and Turkey,” said the leader of the HDP party which scored a breakthrough in Turkish elections in June.
He asked why the EU no longer appeared to support two and a half years of peace talks that collapsed when Ankara launched a new bombing campaign at the end of last month against bases of the PKK, the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, in northern Iraq.
“Why don’t they support them anymore?” Demirtas asked. “You must support the negotiations between (jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah) Ocalan and the Turkish government, and push for a cease-fire.”
He also appeared to want a clearer stand from NATO which strongly backed Turkey’s fight against Daesh militants at emergency talks in Brussels last week even if some countries expressed concerns that strikes on Kurdish fighters could torpedo peace talks with the rebels.
“The whole world must really cry out that this war is not a just and justified war,” Demirtas said when asked what he thought of the NATO position.
Demirtas again accused the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using strikes against IS — something Washington has long called for — as a cover for its main goal of striking the PKK and weakening the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) major gains in parliamentary elections in June.

US honors head of France’s Arab World Institute

Updated 28 January 2020

US honors head of France’s Arab World Institute

  • Dr Jack Lang was recognized for promoting the Arab region and cross-cultural understanding
  • First recipient of the Global Cultural Leadership Award from the National Council on US-Arab Relations

WASHINGTON: Dr. Jack Lang, president of the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) in Paris, on Monday received the inaugural Global Cultural Leadership Award from the National Council on US-Arab Relations.

The honor was recognition for his achievements in expanding knowledge of the Arab region and promoting cross-cultural understanding. It was presented to him at the French ambassador’s residence in Washington by the council’s Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony, board Chairman John Pratt, International Advisory Board member Leo A. Daly III, and Executive Vice President Patrick Mancino.

Lang and a delegation from the institute were in Washington for the opening of the IMA exhibition “Age Old Cities: A Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art.

“What Monsieur Lang and the IMA have achieved in highlighting the rich history and culture of the Arab region is considerable,” said Anthony during the award presentation ceremony. “They have done much to showcase Arab contributions to knowledge and understanding that have benefited the world’s civilizations and humankind in general.

“Under Monsieur Lang’s leadership, the IMA has effectively pushed into new territories in storytelling and technology that help further illuminate the innumerable, extraordinary and myriad impacts that Arabs have had on humanity’s endless quest for modernization and development.”

Lang was appointed IMA president by French President Francois Hollande in 2013. He was previously a National Assembly member for more than two decades, including stints as France’s minister of culture and minister of education. He was also mayor of the city of Blois from 1989 to 2000, and served as a special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The IMA, which is located on the banks of the Seine in Paris, opened in 1987 as a center dedicated to the promotion of Arab civilization, knowledge and art. It contains unique collections and hosts special touring exhibitions. These include “AlUla: Wonder of Arabia,” showcasing Saudi Arabia’s Nabataean archaeological treasure, the dates for which were recently extended after it proved to be incredibly popular.

The National Council on US-Arab Relations was founded in 1983 as a nonprofit, nongovernmental, educational organization. It is dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of the extraordinary benefits the United States has derived from its special relationships with countries in the Arab region, and vice versa. Anthony and the council are working on plans for an Arab Cultural Institute, similar to the IMA, in Washington.