ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The outgoing Kurdistan Region President on Sunday stated that the Region was not defeated, reiterating that the peaceful, just voice of the people could not be cancelled by anyone.
During a meeting with his party officials from Kirkuk, Khurmatu, Khanaqin, and Garmiyan, Masoud Barzani, the former Kurdistan Region President and Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), reiterated his refusal to cancel the results of the Sep. 25 independence referendum.
“The independence referendum was the peaceful and just voice of the people,” Barzani said. “Neither a law nor a government can cancel it.”
Barzani added that the people of Kurdistan’s struggle was “just and righteous,” and the current turmoil was “temporary and would pass.”
“The referendum and its ‘yes’ votes are the most sacred achievements for Kurdistan in decades,” Barzani told the attendees.
Referring to the Oct. 16 attacks by the Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias, Barzani said Kurdistan was not defeated but betrayed by a certain group.
He also emphasized that defeat only occurs when “the will and determination of a people is broken,” adding that did not happen to the people of Kurdistan.
Barzani also mentioned that even before the historic independence vote, Baghdad had plans to occupy Kirkuk and would use the referendum as a pretext.
“Treason and imposing any status quo on Kirkuk and other Kurdistani areas outside the Region’s administration will not alter the Kurdistani identity of those regions,” Barzani affirmed.
He explained that Kurds have always wanted those disputed areas to be a symbol of peace and coexistence for their components, warning that a forced status quo was not acceptable and would not last forever.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany