ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The US Secretary of State called the Kurdistan Region President on Thursday evening and discussed the developments in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) and the Kurdistan Referendum, Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP) said in a statement.
The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson contacted President Masoud Barzani and praised the bravery of the Peshmerga, thanking them for their vital role in the defeat of [the Islamic State (IS)] in Mosul.
Tillerson praised President Barzani and the Kurdistan political leadership for sending a delegation to Baghdad to discuss disputed issues with the Iraqi government and officials.
Regarding the independence referendum which is scheduled to be held next month, Tillerson recommended postponing the process.
In response President Barzani told Tillerson that Iraq has failed to implement the coexistence that Kurdistan was hoping for, thus pushed Kurdistan to go its way.
President also asked, "what guarantees exist for Kurdistan if they postpone the referendum and what's the alternative for the future of Kurdistan?"
The State Department’s position on the referendum appears to be shifting.
On June 8 State Department Spokesperson said, “We support a unified, stable, democratic, and a federal Iraq.”
When the question arose again on June 29, those words were absent.
“Once Iraq has stabilized, and people can go back to their homes,” the State Department Spokesperson said, “a referendum if Iraq decides to do that if the Kurds decide to do that - that would be an internal Iraqi matter.”
Critics raise a compelling challenge to US's one-Iraq policy, which is the growing influence of Iran.
There are reportedly 100,000 Iranian-led and Iranian-trained paramilitary Shia units in Iraq.
(Bakhtiyar Goran contributed to this report)