ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Baghdad is prepared to intervene with military power should the upcoming referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region scheduled for Sep. 25 results in violence, said the top Iraqi official on Saturday.
The Kurdistan Region has insisted on holding a referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region, to decide whether to secede from the rest of Iraq.
Should the people of Iraq be “threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily,” Abadi told AP.
“If you challenge the constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well, which is a very dangerous escalation,” he stated.
Abadi, however, emphasized that Baghdad’s door will remain open for negotiations and further dialogue with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) regarding unresolved disputes.
The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, has repeatedly stated the KRG is not interested in the use of force or any means of violence, saying the people of the Kurdistan Region want to peacefully and democratically decide on their future.
Abadi also noted that should the people of the Kurdistan Region want to move toward independence, that the Constitution of Iraq would have to be amended, which would trigger a lengthy process starting with the Iraqi parliament and a referendum for all Iraqi people in which to participate.
Independence has been a long-awaited dream of the Kurds all around the world. Kurdish officials in the Kurdistan Region have repeatedly accused Baghdad of violating the Constitution of Iraq and of treating the people of the Kurdistan Region as second-class citizens.
Editing by G.H. Renaud