EU Ambassador: EU won’t interfere in Referendum

The referendum is for Kurds only to decide, Europe will not interfere, said the European Union (EU) special envoy to Iraq on Monday.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – The referendum is for Kurds only to decide on, Europe will not interfere, said the European Union (EU) special envoy to Iraq on Monday.

In a press conference held in Erbil, EU Ambassador to Iraq Patrick Simonnett announced that he will not comment on the Kurdish referendum as he believes it is an “internal case” to be decided by Kurds in the Kurdistan Region.

He also stated that the EU will not intervene in the internal situation of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, but will observe. Simonnett mentioned that upholding the regional stability is vital now due to the Islamic State (IS) war and the economic crisis facing the entire country.

Simonnett called on the Kurdish parties to resolve the current political instability through dialogue and negotiation.

“In terms of economic assistance and support for economic development and reconstruction, we have on-going negotiations between the [Iraqi] Federal Government and European Investment Bank (UIB)…There is a special representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) who takes part in those discussions,” the EU Ambassador said.

“We will make sure that Kurdistan is not forgotten,” he emphasized.

Regarding military support for Peshmerga, Simonnett noted, “We don’t play a military role in Iraq, but we support the international coalition.”

Additionally, he explained that some European members provide military aid to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

The Ambassador also clarified that their office attempts “to bring the contribution to the non-military efforts of the coalition in terms of stabilization.”

Simonnett explained that by “stabilization” he meant supporting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country to return voluntarily to their liberated areas.

Recently, Simonnett and his delegates met Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Chancellor Masrour Barzani in Erbil and Governor Najmaddin Karim in Kirkuk Province.


Reporting by Mewan Dolamari

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa