ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The United Nations on Wednesday said it would not get involved in the Kurdistan Region’s recent decision to hold an independence referendum later this year.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) released a statement informing they would not be “engaged in any way or form” with the independence referendum.
The organization did not explain why it was detaching itself from the vote but said it sought “to rectify inaccurate news reports that UNAMI will oversee, support, or observe” the referendum.
Following a meeting with the Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Region President decided to hold the independence referendum on Sep. 25, 2017.
The political parties also agreed the vote would be held in all the areas of the Region, including the “disputed territories” between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi Federal Government.
President Barzani previously said the Region would organize an independence vote after the Mosul battle against the Islamic State concluded.
He also clarified the outcome of the ballot did not mean immediate secession from Iraq.
On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi expressed his concern with the KRG’s decision to hold the vote, calling it “untimely.”
“We live in one homeland, and they are our partners,” Abadi stated, referring to the Kurds in northern Iraq.
“We have a constitution that we’ve voted on, we have a federal Parliament and a federal government,” he added.
In the past, Kurds have repeatedly mentioned there is no real partnership in Iraq, and they are treated as guests rather than citizens.
Editing by G.H. Renaud