ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – In a meeting on Wednesday, the Kurdistan Political Leadership reiterated its commitment to the will of the people and released a statement regarding the post-referendum pressures on the Region.
The High Political Council of Kurdistan (HPCK), formerly known as the Political Leadership of Kurdistan-Iraq, led by President Masoud Barzani, met in Salahadin, Kurdistan Region.
After a minute of silence in honor of late Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, the group discussed the latest developments in the region and released four main points in a statement.
The results of the referendum, which proved the will of the people, will be implemented as a constructive and reasonable dialogue with Baghdad, the leaders said.
“The dialogue should be open and free from any preconditions,” the statement said.
HPCK also announced the sanctions and blockades on Kurdistan are illegitimate and will cause more tension.
The council emphasized the conflicts are not in the interest of either side and will negatively affect the refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have sheltered in the Kurdistan Region.
HPCK also urged the international community and US-led coalition that mass punishment of the region and using force is counterproductive.
Escaping the brutalities of the Islamic States (IS), nearly two million Iraqis and Syrians found safety in Kurdistan but are now living in fear once again as tensions rise between Erbil and Baghdad after the referendum.
Following a democratically held referendum where over 92 percent voted for secession from Iraq, Baghdad forced international airlines to halt flights to Kurdistan, tried to exert control over Kurdistan’s oil revenues, and deployed troops to the disputed areas.
The Kurdish leadership has encouraged dialogue, but Baghdad refuses to talk until Kurdistan nullifies the results of the vote.
Iran also reduced water flow from the Lower Zab river to Kurdistan, and Baghdad on Monday ordered that mobile phone networks “should be under the authority of the federal authorities.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany