ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A senior Iraqi official stated on Thursday that the timing of the Kurdish referendum and its implications on non-Iraqi Kurds should be taken into consideration.
The Foreign Minister of Iraq Ibrahim al-Jaafari met with President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani in Erbil. Following the meeting, al-Jaafari told reporters about the meeting and the Kurdish independence referendum.
“I’m with anything that is constitutional, but the future of the Kurdistan Region is very important for us,” he said.
“Therefore, the Kurdish leadership should host the referendum at a proper time and achieve the Kurdish dreams,” al-Jaafari added. “The implications of the Kurdish referendum in Iraq on Kurds in Turkey, Iran, and other areas should be taken into considerations.”
Iraqi Foreign Minister arrived in Kurdistan Region on Wednesday to participate in a conference panel, titled “Contemporary Political Agenda in Iraq and the Middle East” at the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok.
Al-Jaafari noted that today’s Kurdistan Region is not the one during the reign of Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq. He claimed that Kurds are one of the key partners in the country now.
However, the Minister’s speeches contradict the top Kurdish officials’ statements, including President Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani who have repeatedly mentioned that the Kurdish move toward referendum is a reaction to the absence of real partnership in Iraq in the past decade.
“We are with the well-being of the Kurds and their rights as well as practicing them,” al-Jaafari stated.
Kurdish parties in the Kurdistan Region are in preparation to hold a referendum for self-determination in 2017, stating it is a constitutional and natural right of the people to decide on their future whether they want to secede or remain part of Iraq.
The Kurdistan Region officials are in a peaceful dialogue with Baghdad regarding the case of the referendum, and plan to form a committee to visit the neighboring countries.
Editing by Ava Homa