To delay referendum, Kurdistan needs firm guarantees on independence: Barzani
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani on Tuesday told a US Congressman that modern political history proves that the forceful assimilation of nations under one country does not work.
Ralph Abraham, the representative for Louisiana's 5th congressional district in the United States' House of Representatives, met with President Barzani on Tuesday in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region.
During the meeting, Abraham expressed his pleasant surprise at witnessing the progressiveness, coexistence, and tolerance in the Kurdistan Region, stating the people of the Region have made enormous strides within a very short time, according to the Kurdistan Region Presidency's (KRP) press office.
He highlighted the role and sacrifices of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), stating the American people understand the struggle and demands of those in the Kurdistan Region.
He underlined the US' ongoing support for the Kurdistan Region, describing it as peaceful and stable and highlighting how it has become a strong front for the US and the international community in combating ‘terrorist organizations,' the KRP statement reads.
President Barzani noted that Peshmerga, through its countless sacrifices and blood shed by its fighters, has become the symbol which destroyed the myth of IS.
Regarding statehood, Barzani said that despite their best efforts, the people of the Kurdistan Region had been disappointed by the countless bitter experiences they have suffered through as part of Iraq.
“Thus, the people of the Kurdistan Region have decided to exercise their right, and will not retreat from it. The referendum would only be delayed should a more substantial means to achieve independence be guaranteed,” the statement added.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is planning to hold a referendum on independence on Sep. 25, 2017.
Kurdistan Region officials have repeatedly criticized the federal government of Iraq for violating the Constitution as well as treating Kurdistan’s people as second-class citizens.
Editing by G.H. Renaud