Barzani tells HDP he can be mediator to restart settlement process

The settlement process was launched in 2012 to end Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish problem.

Meeting with a delegation from the HDP in Ankara on Thursday evening, Barzani, who was in Turkey for several days as a part of an official visit, told the HDP he was saddened by the end of the settlement process, adding he can act as a mediator between the Turkish government and the PKK to restart the settlement process.

The HDP delegation included Co-chair Figen Yuksekdag and several other HDP deputies such as Osman Baydemir and Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat.

Barzani also told the HDP deputies that trenches dug by YDG-H members in several tense districts in the predominantly Kurdish Southeast should be filled as soon as possible. The KRG leader further said public peace should be restored and clashes should be ended in the Southeast as soon as possible.

Hundreds of people — some 200 members of security forces, as well as civilians — have died since the PKK abandoned its two-and-a-half-year cease-fire in late July.

Turkey began striking PKK targets in southeastern Anatolia and northern Iraq on July 24, after two police officers were executed by the terrorist group, apparently in retaliation for a suicide bombing on July 20 that killed 33 pro-Kurdish activists and was blamed on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Violence has escalated sharply since then, with the PKK stepping up attacks on security forces in the Southeast.