ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Region President said on Tuesday that remaining part of Iraq is a bigger risk than holding an independence referendum, adding that he expects allies not to oppose it.
Masoud Barzani, the Kurdistan Region President, and accompanied delegation met with members of the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the independence referendum in the Region and the war against Islamic State (IS).
President Barzani said that people of Kurdistan for the last 100 years have done their best to bring about a genuine partnership in Baghdad so they live in a democratic society. The efforts continued until recently to build a democratic, federal Iraq, but unfortunately, we were unable to build that Iraq, he said.
“We are frustrated by the nature of our relations with Baghdad," Barzani said, warning that continuing in this way would definitely lead to a bloody war.
"Due to no commitment, no adherence to Iraqi Constitution, we are allowed to take this route [referendum] as the commitment to Constitution," Barzani stated.
Barzani explained that Kurdistan Region understands that the referendum is a risk, but waiting for an unknown future is a greater risk for the Kurdish population.
Regarding the position of the world countries on the independence especially the neighboring countries and super powers, Barzani said, "We may have different views on the timing of the process, yet we haven’t heard from any side that they are against Kurdistan independence altogether."
He added that, "We do not expect other countries to give us independence as a Christmas gift; We strive for it and call upon friendly countries that if they fail to support us, at least they do not oppose our democratic right."
Barzani also explained that it would be hypocritical of any democratic country to stand against Kurdistan Region’s referendum.
Barzani reiterated Kurdistan Region’s referendum is for independence, but after the referendum, KRG would engage in a dialogue with Baghdad to continue by peaceful means, without bloodshed.
"But the dialogue will not be open-ended," he concluded.
Editing by Ava Homa