ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – War cannot resolve issues between Erbil and Baghdad; a peaceful dialogue is the only solution, former President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani said on Sunday.
In a meeting with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) members in Erbil, Barzani discussed the latest developments in the Kurdistan Region and emphasized on a peaceful solution to address Erbil – Baghdad differences.
He mentioned that before and after the Sep. 25 independence referendum, the Kurds continue to call for dialogue and negotiations with Baghdad.
Barzani stated that it is unfortunate to see Baghdad responding to the democratic practice of people in Kurdistan with force and power.
“Now, we again emphasize that war is not a solution, and it cannot impose the status quo,” he affirmed. “The best solution is dialogue and negotiations.”
The Kurdish figure also noted that throughout history, the Kurds have proven they are determined, and “will not raise the white flag for oppression, and betrayal [committed against them].”
He added that the Kurdistan Region’s patience has always been followed up with great successes. “This time, once again, we will pass this abnormal and temporary situation with dignity.”
Barzani was the leading Kurdish leader in holding the referendum on Sep. 25 which won 93 percent of votes in favor of secession from Iraq.
He was President of the Kurdistan Region since 2005. He stepped down from his role on Nov. 1, 2017, after he refused to extend his presidential term.
Since then, Barzani has remained the leader of the KDP, the largest party in the Kurdistan Region with 38 seats in the regional parliament out of 111.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated following the Region’s independence vote.
As a show of good faith, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) offered to freeze the results of the referendum, but Baghdad refused, demanding a full annulment instead.
Since the plebiscite, Baghdad has launched collective punitive measures against Kurdistan, including the use of military force to control Kirkuk Province and other disputed territories.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany