ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani met with different ethnic and religious groups in the Kurdistan Region on Tuesday, reassuring them of their rights in a future independent Kurdistan.
“We want a future independent Kurdistan to be a system of federalism with the creation of new provinces where ethnic and religious groups will be guaranteed their rights,” the President said during a meeting in Erbil.
“We might review and change the national anthem and redesign the flag to reflect the [diverse] reality,” of the Kurdistan Region, President Barzani continued.
“Since we decide to live together, we have to be partners in everything,” he added.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has planned to hold an independence referendum on Sep. 25, 2017 – a decision senior Kurdish officials say there is no turning back.
During his meeting with the representatives of Christians, Yezidis (Ezidis), Turkmen, Kakayi, and other components, President Barzani highlighted the culture of coexistence in Kurdistan as a distinguishing characteristic of the Region.
“There are villages in the Kurdistan Region that consist of Muslims, Christians, and Jews,” he explained. “They all live together in social harmony.”
The President underlined an independent Kurdistan would constitutionally guarantee the rights of all ethnic and religious groups.
President Barzani noted an independent Kurdish state would prevent further bloodshed between Erbil and Baghdad and would allow future generations to live in peace as neighbors.
“We have been waiting for 100 years. How long shall we wait for an ‘appropriate time?’” Barzani responded to those who have expressed concern about the vote.
In another part of his speech, he emphasized Erbil’s commitment to dialogue with Baghdad, reiterating the referendum would not be postponed.
President Barzani warned that the people of the Kurdistan Region would not accept threatening language, and said Kurds deserve an independent nation like other states.
KRG officials have repeatedly criticized the Federal Government of Iraq for ignoring the Constitution and treating the people of Kurdistan as second-class citizens.
“The people of the Kurdistan Region have the right to decide whether they want to remain as part of Iraq or secede from the rest of the country,” President Barzani has previously said.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany