Legitimacy of Kurdistan referendum comes from sacrifices of Kurds: Barzani

17 September, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Karim to continue as Kirkuk Governor says Iraqi Parliament’s dismissal ‘illegal

Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, and Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, were attempting to persuade President Barzani of Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region (KAR) to accept negotiations with the central authorities in Baghdad for a new timetable.

The Kurdish region's parliament voted Friday evening to approve the holding of a controversial referendum on support for independence September 25, according to broadcasts of the session by local television.

"The United States has repeatedly emphasised to the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government that the referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat ISIS and stabilise the liberated areas", the White House said in a statement on Friday following the vote by Kurdish lawmakers.

"The UK does not support the Kurdistan Regional Government's aspiration to hold a referendum on 25 September".

"Holding the referendum in disputed areas is particularly provocative and destabilizing", it added. While providing no details on the alternative, he said he has presented it to Kurdish leaders.

Britain is opposed to a planned referendum for the independence of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, saying it could risk instability in the Middle East at the time of a fight against terrorism. Iraq now eyes a full liberation of its western and northern territories from Daesh.


Kurds across the Kurdistan Region and overseas gathered in a show of solidarity for the historic independence vote. Mr Barzani says the referendum's "legitimacy comes from the people of Kurdistan, not from the outside".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Barzani had made a "very, very wrong" decision to hold the referendum, while Prime Minister Binali Yildirm warned of possible sanctions.

Under this plan, a well-placed source told AFP, the worldwide community will oversee negotiations on revenue sharing in Iraq's oil budget and payment for Kurdish militia fighters.

Barzani has been in dispute with Gorran since he blocked its parliamentarian speaker from Irbil and shuttered the legislature in 2015.

On Thursday, the Baghdad parliament fired the governor of Kirkuk province, Najm Eddine Karim, over his provincial council's decision to take part in the non-binding referendum.

Oil-rich Kirkuk is home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Christians. It is claimed by both the Kurds and the central government in Baghad.

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