Hay Alwozarah, Arbil (Mosul Vilayet)

Permanent Representative to the United Nations
box 2580 - 1211 Geneva 2

Note Verbale

presented on 10 August 1994 to M. Jacques Manent, Conseiller ministeriel
de la Mission permanente de la France auprès des Nations Unies à Genève
by the Delegation of the Mosul Vilayet Council,
Najim Khedher Al-Sourchi, Sheik Salar Al-Hafeed, J.A.Keller

1.     The Mosul Vilayet Council (MVC, hereinafter referred to as: Council) expresses its appreciation for the opportunity to present the latest developments in the Mosul Vilayet (to the North of Iraq) directly to the French authorities.

2.     The Council expresses its deep regrets for and condemns also the latest political murders of French nationals in Algeria, and it avails itself of the good offices of the French authorities for conveying its condolences to the French families involved.

3.     In line with its constant policy of rendering good offices wherever this is indicated and required by the parties concerned, the Council draws to the attention of the French authorities the availability of its conceivably useful links to the involved Algerian circles [see testimony of 16 August 1995 by elected FIS member Said Lahlali to the UN Sub-Commission], and avails its corresponding good offices and services upon request to its fully empowered Representative to the United Nations, Mr.J.A.Keller, Geneva.

4.     Aware of the efforts by foreign powers to destabilize, undermine and frustrate the efforts of the Council to obtain the necessary international backing for the proposed establishment of an unprejudicial interim solution in the form of a UN Trust Territory covering the entire 91'000km2 Mosul Vilayet, based on the 1932 Iraqi Declaration and UN GeneraL Assembly resolution 24 (I) of 12 February 1946, the Council alerts the French authorities to the circulation of fake letters concerning notably the status of its Representative to the United Nations, purportedly written and signed by members of the Council, and it declares all such communications nul & void.

5.     The Council takes pleasure bringing the "Unity Declaration" of 31 May 1994, the numerous signs of private and public support for this Third Route of developments in the Mosul Vilayet, the Press Releases of the Council of 28 July and 2 August 1994, and the Statement by the Registrar and Keeper of Records of the Mosul Vilayet, held on 5 August 1994 before the UN Human Rights Sub-Commission, and the corresponding United Nations Press Release of 5 August 1994, to the attention of the French authorities.

6.     The Council prepares for a General Assembly of the MVC, to be held in Arbil, Mosul Vilayet, end of September/beginning of October 1994, on which occasion the Council membership shall be fixed, the Council Committee shall be elected and - in line with the "Declaration of Separation from Iraq" of 20 October 1992, and the agreement reached with the Assyrians and the Turkomans - the members of the Coalition Government for Reconstruction and Development shall be nominated and, in the event, provisionally set in function, pending indispensable complementary measures by external powers. Meanwhile, the Council seeks to effectuate a cease-fire between the warring parties and to eventually integrate these forces and their leaders in the over-all structure defined in the said 1992 Declaration, to which effect it solicits notably the French authorities supportive actions and inactions.

7.     The Council invites the French authorities to consider sending an Observer Delegation to the MVC General Assembly in September 1994 in Arbil.

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7 November 1994

Dear Sardar,

     It was good to hear from you again. I was afraid you got lost when your anger led you to slam the door and abandon ship, at a time the helping hands and brains were - and still are - urgently needed, particularly of every able Kurd originating from or living in the liberated part of the Mosul Vilayet.

     Apparently, you continue to pursue with all your energies and skills the idea of CURDOIL INCORPORATED. Well, from what I see and learned since we last met, there are some flaws in your approach. Maybe the biggest flaw, amounting to a sure-fire recipe for failure, is your apparent assumption that any one single person - be it you or any other Kurd or non-Kurd - has a monopoly for good ideas or a claim to exclusivity for the Mosul Vilayet Project: as a humanitarian, political and economic watershed enterprise everybody may contribute what he can towards its realization, but whoever tries to block, divert or control it risks being simply rolled over by history. With this I do not wish to denigrate in the slightest your early personal contributions which, incidently, you will find properly reflected also in my related documentation. Nor do I now wish to discuss others' and my own rôle of a mere channel in all of this. But it is to remind you of the premises of our first journey to the oil fields concerned, and I may quote from the letter the Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers addressed on 3 May 1992 to all leaders of the Mosul Vilayet's ethnic, religious and business communities and political parties:

     "Involving some 60 European and American parliamentarians, historians and experts, our group, since September 1990, has privately sought to provide to both sides of the Gulf conflict good offices towards its analysis and, if possible, non-military resolution, concentrating since 12 months on Kurdish problems. We have now been advised by key officials of allied governments that the findings developed on related questions is under active consideration and that they are willing to support the self-help "Project BACKDOOR" [forerunner of CURDOIL INC.] and the Mosul Vilayet plan - on condition that these projects are explicitly, unambiguously and coherently supported by the Kurdish tribes, leaders, teachers, parliamentarians and political parties and that the leadership team emerging from the elections will provide for competent management of these projects in line with existing international obligations and in cooperation with involved neighboring governments."

     More than ever, these sine qua non conditions are valid but have yet to be fulfilled. Of course, they cannot and never will be met as long as persons, groups or political parties, instead of joining forces, rarely miss an opportunity to denigrate and even fight each other, and try to grab, dominate or control this unique undertaking for their own agenda. The window of opportunity for indispensable decisions notably at the United Nations is thus fast closing unused. I think I have done my part towards real, solid and lasting unity, solidarity and coherence among the peoples involved. But declarations and signatures aside, the powers that be will yet have to see much more evidence of this, particularly with regard to one-voice representation abroad. Thus, I am not sure whether this generation will already enjoy the fruits of our work.

     But perhaps I expect too much. Maybe more patience and cunning is needed. Or maybe I should have more confidence in the promises & signatures of those who claim to be responsible leaders working only for the good of their people (question: what confidence do they have in their own fellow-citizens?). Some 70 years ago the Israelis learned how to become respected partners: by stopping to ask for hand-outs and foreign answers to their own problems, and by mobilizing their dispersed people as indispensable contributors to the enormous tasks at hand and ahead. Likewise, I think the success of this project will depend to no small degree on the loyal and full cooperation notably of clear-sighted, enterprising and streetwise Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds and Turkomans - like you and others I've met. Many such efforts are reflected in my documentation and in your book (which I'd like to read in Kurdish). God willing, I trust the peoples concerned will get their act together - and get there.


J.Anton Keller

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Communication de CORUM aux conseillers du Président Chirac - 17 avril 1995


     Instiguée et appuyée par le Royaume Uni, la "super puissance" des Etats Unis est en train de s'emparer des "bijoux de la famille" des nations au Moyen Orient, à savoir des champs pétroliers dans le Mossoul, dans le reste de l'Iraq et même en Iran, ainsi que du château d'eau du Tigré et de l'Euphrate. Ceci pour la deuxième fois dans ce Siècle, au moment où la France est préoccupée avec les problèmes du Balkan et de l'intégrisme Islamique. Force est de constater qu'à sa grande perte potentielle, l'évolution de la politique de la France ne semble pas encore reflèter proprement ni les véritables changements de donnes dans cette région, ni les opportunités qui en découlent à nouveau.

     En effet, la disparition du bi-polarisme a réouvert des plaies jamais cicatrisées qui étaient causées par l'éclatement de l'Empire Ottoman. Les contentieux qui ont suivi ont été habilement exploités depuis lors par une politique britannique à long terme. A l'exception de l'engagement de principe en faveur du peuple Juif, inscrit dans la Déclaration Balfour, les promesses faites à l'époque aux Armeniens, Assyriens, Kurdes, Palestiniens et autres peuples ainsi déracinés et désavantagés n'ont pas été respectées - tout comme les engagements pris envers la France dans l'Accord Sykes-Picot de 1916 concernant le partage des responsabilités et des zones d'influence dans cette région. De surcroit - et avec des effets curieusement favorables aux intérêts britanniques - un autre visionnaire de cette période, le Président Woodrow Wilson, voyait torpillées par le Sénat américain ses initiatives à l'égard de ces peuples et de leur protection en tant que minorité dans des Etats nouvellement créés ou réorganisés.

     Après les deux Guerres du Golf, face à l'implosion quasiment inévitable - et probablement voulue -  de l'Irak, est-ce que pour des raisons extérieures et/ou intérieures, la France sera à nouveau mise à l'écart des opportunités qui se présentent dans cette région? En tout cas, les nouvelles alliances qui se dressent notamment en matière kurde (US/GB, US/Iran), ne semblent tenir compte ni des racines historiques françaises dans cette région, ni du potentiel de la francophonie et des autres intérêts légitimes de la France. Mais les projets déjà engagés sur le terrain ne semblent pas répondre non plus aux intérêts stratégiques ou économiques de l'Europe continentale toute entière, à savoir les ressources pétrolières stratégiques européennes qui se trouvent dans cette région, ni même aux opportunités qui se présentent dans le domaine des grandes religions du Dieu Unique qui y ont leur berceau.

     Une des conséquences à méditer: outre le fait que les intérêts de la France risquent donc d'être spoliés, des Ayatollahs pourraient se trouver fortifiés sur le plan international - au moment même où son attention est monopolisée par le terrorisme nourri par le fanatisme religieux.

En revanche, une France plus ouverte, plus imaginative et plus courageuse serait à même d'éviter de subir les conséquences de décisons essentiellement faites à son insu, ou d'être contraint de donner son aval à des faits accomplis. Au contraire, avec l'appui tout naturel notamment de l'Allemagne, elle pourrait prétendre et encore réaliser une fonction de pointe dans des développements déjà engagés et éventuellement à réaiguillonner.


1     Les circonstances de la dernière grande défaite diplomatique, économique et politique de la France, à savoir la perte du Vilayet du Mossoul, sont décrites par J.C.Hurewitz (éditeur), "Tripartite (Sykes-Picot) Agreement on the Partition of the Ottoman Empire: Britain, France and Russia, 26 April - 23 October 1916", dans: "The Middle East and North Africa in World Politics", vol.2, British-French Supremacy 1914-1945, Yale University Press, New Haven 1979, p.60.

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