ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday said the Kurdistan Region’s decision to hold an independence referendum later this year was untimely.
The Iraqi PM noted he understood the Kurds’ desire for statehood but criticized the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leadership’s decision to hold the referendum in September.
“Every part of Iraq has aspirations and has a dream, and we respect that, even if we disagree with it,” he said at a press conference in Baghdad.
“We live in one homeland, and they are our partners,” Abadi added, referring to the Kurds in northern Iraq.
According to the Iraqi PM, the Kurds’ ambitions for independence “at this time is not opportune.”
“We have a constitution that we’ve voted on, we have a federal Parliament and a federal government,” he affirmed.
In the past, Kurds have repeatedly mentioned there is no real partnership in Iraq, and they are treated as guests rather than citizens.
Moreover, Kurdish leaders have pointed to the Iraqi government’s failure to apply the rights of Kurds according to the Iraqi constitution.
The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani previously said the Region would organize an independence vote after the Mosul battle against the Islamic State (IS) concluded.
President Barzani also clarified the outcome of the referendum did not mean immediate secession from Iraq.
Following a meeting with the Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Region President decided to hold the independence referendum on Sep. 25, 2017.
The political parties also agreed the vote would be held in all the areas of the Region, including the “disputed territories” between Erbil and Baghdad.
Editing by Ava Homa