ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kurdish intellectuals, organizations and cultural centers' representatives in Russia gathered in Moscow on Sunday and expressed support for the Kurdistan Region's independence referendum scheduled for Sep. 25, 2017.
The Kurdish members hailed from different parts of the Greater Kurdistan. While holding the Kurdistan's national flag, they sent a message to Kurdish political parties in the Kurdistan Region asking them to cast aside their political parties’ interests.
The community asked the Kurdish parties to prioritize national interests as the people of the Kurdistan Region are "stepping toward a historic moment," a long-awaited Kurdish dream throughout the diaspora.
They also emphasized that unity among the political parties in the Kurdistan Region is "crucial for the success of the independence referendum."
Kurdish senior officials have insisted on holding the referendum despite the opposition of Baghdad and other nations criticizing the timing of the event. “There is no turning back from holding the referendum,” President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has previously said.
The vote would include the disputed territories, especially the oil-rich Kirkuk Province, which has historically been claimed by the Kurdish people.
On Saturday, the Referendum High Committee, comprised of representatives from all parties, ethnic and religious components in the Kurdistan Region, held their first meeting Saturday and elected to form several committees to discuss and peacefully negotiate the referendum with Baghdad, neighboring countries, the EU and the US.
Editing by G.H. Renaud