ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – In a meeting with several Consulate-Generals and representatives from foreign countries currently based in Erbil, the President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani stated that the world should understand exactly what Kurds desire.
In a statement published on the Kurdistan Regional Presidency (KRP) website, Kurdistan independence was a significant focus of the discussion between Barzani and the numerous foreign diplomats present. “Barzani insisted on holding the referendum on independence in order for the world to know what the Kurds want and how they want to determine their future… peacefully, without violence,” the KRP statement stated.
President Barzani discussed the stages of fighting and confronting the Islamic State (IS). “The Kurds were taking defensive measures first, and then started launching offensives and [began to destroy] Daesh [IS] and [liberate] Kurdistan’s territories outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s control," Barzani said.
Regarding relations with the Iraqi federal government, Barzani said, “The Kurdistan Region has helped the new Iraqi government, and talks are ongoing with Baghdad to resolve issues between the federal government and the KRG."
Regarding the precarious economic situation in the Kurdistan Region, Barzani said that Baghdad's cutting the KRG budget share, low oil prices, fighting against IS and hosting nearly two million refugees and internally displaced people's (IDP) have been the main reasons behind the economic crisis.
Barzani asked the representatives of the thirty-six countries attending the important meeting to provide more assistance to Peshmerga forces, refugees and IDPs.
Barzani also said that the Kurdistan Region will not be part of the sectarian conflict in the region explaining that, “Sectarianism is a dangerous matter... the people of Kurdistan have no sectarian conflict… [and] in order to win the peace, revenge and sectarian conflict has to come to an end.”
Falah Mustafa, head of the Kurdistan Region’s Foreign Relations Department, also in attendance at the meeting said, “The Kurdistan Region will never be part of the existing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.”