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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 05, 1984

VISIT BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF KURDISTAN/IRAQ TO EAST GERMANY

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    In late 1984, Kurdish Democratic Party leader Massoud Barzani and a group of colleagues travel to Europe with false Syrian passports in order to win the favor of the socialist countries and whoever else in Europe who will recognize them.
    "Visit by the General Secretary of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan/Iraq to East Germany," December 05, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, ZA, HA XXII, 123/1. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114451
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Ministry for State Security

Main Department II

Working Group “Foreigners”

Lieutenant Wagner/ Contact Person “Partisan”

Captain Krassa/ Contact Person “Doctor”

5 December 1984

No. 486/84

Information

about the intended GDR Visit by the General Secretary of the

Democratic Party of Kurdistan/Iraq (DPK/I), Massoud BARZANI

Through unofficial channels the upcoming realization of the intention by DPK/I General Secretary Barzani to visit the GDR, already indicated in April 1984, has become known.

According to that, it is to be expected that M. Barzani will enter the GDR coming from Austria on 7 December 1984 by using a Syrian travel passport issued under the name

Abdullah Hassan Mohammad

born: 1947 in Deir El Zoor
occupation: Farmer

passport number: SR/80 451973.

According to our information he is accompanied by an uncle and a nephew from his family who are also using Syrian travel passports issued under the names of

Hissar Mahmoud Mohmud

born: 1953 in Hassakeh

passport number: SR/82 459970

and

Abdul Monem Suliyman Ahmad

born: 1946 in Hassakeh

passport number: SR/82 459969.

As it became further known, Barzani's intention with this visit is to have political talks with representatives from the SED Central Committee. The aim of such talks would be to attempt to develop a collaboration between the DPK/I and socialist countries on the basis of anti-imperialist orientations and platforms of the Kurdish movement.

Barzani is said to view the DPK/I as an “ally of the socialist countries”. According to unofficial information, Barzani does not assess in a comprehensive and realistic manner the foreign policy relationships of the GDR, the USSR and other socialist countries with both Iraq and Iran on whose state territories the Kurdish areas are located.

The objectives of his visit to the GDR are part of attempts by the DPK/I to develop its relations with socialist states, respectively with the parties.

According to unofficial information, Barzani has already conducted talks in Libya and Syria, among others with the heads of state Gaddafi and Assad. He is planning to have further meetings in the People's Republic of Poland, Czechoslovakia, the People's Republic of Bulgaria and during his current stay in Austria (maybe with Bruno Kreisky), and potentially also in France and in the Vatican.

It became known that exploratory talks in preparation of the visit were held with members of the Department for International Relations of the SED Central Committee through GDR-based DPK/I politburo member

Dr. Gouma, Mohamed Saleh

born: 21 March 1937 in Sowka

residence: 1140 Berlin, [excised].

These talks were said to have focused mostly on practical issues [of Barzani's upcoming visit] like meeting, assistance, and accommodation.

From reactions gathered, it is assessed that Barzani and Gouma do accept the requested private character of the stay (Barzani will visit his two brothers who study in the GDR since 1981 based on an arrangement with the SED Central Committee). Still, they [Barzani and Gouma] have firm expectations regarding respective political meetings, assistance, and accommodation.

Among else they referred to Barzani's security needs, his potential endangering in case of a stay in Inter-Hotels [for foreigners] and private residences, as well as to their expectations regarding assistance and service given those circumstances.

Based on our information, Dr. Gouma wants Barzani to stay during his GDR visit (exact dates are not yet finalized) for security reasons in changing private apartments, such as

1020 Berlin, Fischerinsel 6, Apartment [excised], with [excised];

1140 Berlin, [excised], with Dr. Gouma;

and maybe in 7030 Leipzig, [excised], with his brothers.

During his stay they also plan, among other things, day trips to Potsdam, Dresden and Weimar/Buchenwald with a private car.

Operative Assessment

1.Currently the DPK/I represents the strongest group within the range of Kurdish parties and organizations, which are politically and militarily active in Iraq and in Iran.

The armed “Peshmerga” units of the DPK/I are estimated in Western publications and according to own Kurdish figures to comprise of about 3,500 to 8,000 men.

2. In Iraq the DPK/I is united in one front with the Communist Party against the government under Saddam Hussein.

In 1983/84 this resulted in participation in military operations together with Iran. It is said that currently both the Iraqi government and the DPK/I leadership are seeking a mutual understanding while the DPK/I is already turning away from Iran.

3. Massoud Barzani is the son and political successor of the legendary Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani who died in 1979 in the United States. The latter's activities resulted between 1950 and 1970 in armed uprisings in Iraq with the support of the United States and the Shah of Persia.

4. For many years the DPK/I attempts to establish party relations with the SED. Evidence of these efforts are regular talks by the Department of International Relations of the SED Central Committee with DPK/I politburo member Dr. Gouma, or the offering to Kurds of places to study in the GDR like in the case of the two Barzani brothers (they stay in the GDR under different names).

5. The [Stasi] Main Department II/Working Group Foreigners has for many years controlled and monitored Kurdish functionaries and organizations in West Berlin and in the GDR. It has assembled according information and analyses on the development of this situation.

The political-operative situation is such that, according to its party program, the DPK/I is oriented towards good relations with socialist states. They principally reject terrorist activities in socialist states. When citizens from socialist states were arrested in Kurdish areas, the DPK/I many times acted on behalf of these citizens and states in a positive way.

In the context of Barzani's visit to the GDR we cannot exclude threats to his personal safety in general. Barzani has political adversaries and enemies in Iraq and among competing Kurdish organizations.