Poll to achieve ‘separation from Iraq’: Kurdish leader
Massoud Barzani, president of northern Iraq’s Kurdish regional administration, said Wednesday that a planned referendum -- to be held in the region in September -- was aimed at achieving the region’s “separation from Iraq”, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
Barzani also rejected proposals by certain quarters to postpone the controversial poll.
At a meeting with Muslim scholars in Erbil, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)’s administrative capital, Barzani declared that the planned referendum “concerns all [the region’s] political parties and the Kurdish people in general and not a single individual”.
The referendum is not a goal in and of itself, he asserted, “but a means of achieving separation” from the Iraqi state, adding: “The principles of partnership with Iraq no longer exist.”
“The Kurdish region cannot accept Baghdad’s current positions,” he said without elaborating.
The referendum, in which residents of the Kurdish region will vote on whether or not to formally secede from the Iraqi state, is slated to be held on Sept. 25.
“The referendum results won’t be binding,” Barzani said. “The poll is simply meant to assess public opinion in the region regarding the issue.”
Baghdad, meanwhile, has reiterated its rejection of the planned referendum, citing fears that the move could adversely affect the ongoing fight against the Daesh terrorist group.
According to the Iraqi government, holding the poll would also violate Iraq’s 2005 constitution and “would be of no political or economic benefit to the Kurds”.
Turkey, too, rejects the planned poll, saying that maintenance of Iraq’s territorial integrity is inextricably linked to the region’s security and prosperity.
The U.S., for its part, has expressed concern that the referendum will serve as a “distraction” from other pressing regional issues, especially the ongoing fight against Daesh and the stabilization of war-battered Iraq.
The UN, meanwhile, has expressed its belief that the referendum should not be held in the absence of “mutual understanding” between Baghdad and Erbil.
Related news releases
- 17.07.2018Women in Saudi Arabia Will Soon Be Able to Train as Pilots
- 17.07.2018Iran ready to boost uranium enrichment if talks with EU fail - Official
- 17.07.2018Protests in Iraq leave 5 dead, 190 injured
- 17.07.2018Syrian army says it captures strategic hill overlooking Israeli border
- 15.07.2018Indonesian police shoot dead three suspected militants
- 15.07.2018Rouhani: "The US ‘more isolated than ever’ over Iran sanctions"
- 14.07.2018At least 10 killed by landslide in northern Myanmar
- 14.07.2018Velayati: Russia wants to create joint electrical grid with Iran, Azerbaijan
- 14.07.2018China floods wreak havoc, block roads and railways
- 14.07.2018Palestinian teenager killed in Israel-Gaza border protests
- 13.07.2018Suicide bomber kills 128 in attack on Pakistani election rally
- 13.07.2018Former Pakistani premier Sharif arrested in Lahore
- 13.07.2018Indian planes carrying more than 300 people avoid mid-air collision by 200 feet
- 12.07.2018FBI Presents New Details on Lead Up to Saddam Hussein's Interrogation
- 12.07.2018Kim Jong-un: "Extraordinary efforts' made by Trump for improving US-N Korea ties
- 11.07.2018Iran Supreme Leader's aide hails 'strategic' ties with Russia before Putin talks
- 11.07.201812 killed in election rally in NW Pakistan
- 10.07.2018Death toll in Japan flood disaster rises to 156
- 10.07.2018Last remaining kid, coach evacuated from Thai cave - media
- 10.07.2018At least 140 dead after heavy rain and landslides in Japan
- 09.07.2018Death toll rises to 126 in W. Japan after flood, rain
- 08.07.2018Japan floods and heavy rain leave at least 41 dead, dozens missing - UPDATED
- 07.07.2018North Korea regrets US stance at talks
- 07.07.2018Iran calls for EU help as shipping giant pulls out for fear of U.S. sanctions
- 07.07.2018Insider attack in S. Afghanistan kills 1 US serviceman, injures 2 others - NATO - UPDATED
- 07.07.2018Indian army kills 3 civilians in southern Kashmir
- 07.07.2018Both sides seek to 'clarify' as Pompeo holds second day of North Korea talks
- 07.07.2018No breakthrough in nuclear talks as Iran demands more after U.S. exit
- 07.07.2018Israeli air strike hits Syria at Golan frontier
- 07.07.2018Palestinian killed as Gaza protests against Israel enter fourth month
- 07.07.2018Second Saudi teen kills self after playing online game
- 06.07.2018Iranian leader describes EU proposals to save JCPOA as ‘disappointing’
- 05.07.2018German Coalition parties reach deal on Migration
- 05.07.2018Iranian FM summons German, French, Belgian diplomats
- 05.07.2018Pakistani court sends fake degree mill owner to jail
- 04.07.2018Iraq urges world countries to repatriate Islamic State children
- 04.07.20184.3-magnitude earthquake hits southern Iran
- 02.07.2018Thai rescue teams find 13 missing in cave alive
- 02.07.20184 PKK terrorists neutralized in SE Turkey
- 01.07.2018Three settlements in Syria’s southwest de-escalation zone join ceasefire
- 10.08.2017Islamic State threatens new attacks in Iran
- 10.08.2017Up to 50 teen migrants 'deliberately drowned' off Yemen
- 10.08.2017North Korea Calls Trump Impossible to Communicate With
- 09.08.2017UN envoy holds talks with Yemeni president in Riyadh
- 09.08.2017Death toll in southwest China earthquake rises to nine, 135 injured - UPDATED
- 09.08.2017U.S.-led coalition strikes kill 29 civilians in Syria