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At MSU, Two Experts on the Kurdish People Plan to Debate Friday

Two heavyweights will face off Friday on the Missouri State University campus – not in a boxing ring, but in a classroom. They will debate the future of an ethnic group based over 6,000 miles away.

The debate is over the future of the Kurdish people, who have pushed for their independence for generations.   Two experts will debate on how the main disputes can be resolved.

Feisal al-Istrabadi is Iraq’s former ambassador to the United Nations and one of the principal legal drafters of the Iraqi interim constitution.

He takes the stance that independence for the Kurds is not in the cards for the foreseeable future.

“They overplayed their hand with respect to the Iraqi government and with respect to regional governments and with respect to the international community including the United States and the United Nations, the United Kingdom, France, Germany – all of whom told them that they should not run the referendum last year. They chose to do so. They burnt a lot of bridges," Al-Istrabadi said.

He’s referring to a referendum for independence the Kurdish region of Iraq held last year. 

Al-Istrabadi is debating Brendan O’Leary, who served as an advisor to the Kurdish Regional Government.

The debate will be held in Glass Hall 101 Friday, October 5 from 3 to 5 p.m. and can be live-streamed at

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