Referendum will tell world what Kurdistan people want: PM Barzani
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The result of a Kurdish independence referendum will show the international community what the people of the Kurdistan Region want, said a senior Kurdish official on Thursday.
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani stated there was no question the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) would hold a referendum in 2017.
“The outcome doesn’t mean we will immediately embark, but it will show the international community what the population wants,” Barzani stated in an interview with the American Philly media network.
The people of the autonomous Kurdistan Region have long-awaited the national aspiration of gaining a sovereign state of their own.
Kurdish officials claim there is no real partnership in governing Iraq, and the Baghdad government treats them as guests rather than partners in the country.
Following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq in June 2014, the Kurds fought the extremist group and liberated large swaths of area. These areas included the “disputed territories” between Erbil and Baghdad.
The Kurds continue to consolidate their gains and refuse to give up on what they have liberated since 2014.
“We can’t go back to the old days,” Barzani said. “Iraq after Mosul is not the same as Iraq before Mosul.”
The KRG seeks a peaceful dialogue to reach an amicable divorce from Iraq which they believe would resolve problems like boundaries, oil, administration, and finances.
Turkey, which is one of the neighboring countries of Kurdistan, has good economic and political ties with the autonomous region.
“Officially, we have not addressed this issue with Turkey, but we think they are ready to listen,” the Prime Minister continued.
Commenting on establishing a US military base in the Region, the PM said, “If the United States is in need of having a base in Kurdistan our leadership would welcome it.”
Moreover, PM Barzani explained today’s reality showed a united Iraq did not exist.
“If the Americans want a united Iraq, in practical terms it doesn’t exist anymore,” he stated.
“If they want stability, they have to deal with the core issue of Kurdistan,” PM Barzani concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany