Barzani releases statement on independence referendum
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani released a statement regarding the independence referendum and the right to self-determination.
In the statement, Barzani said, "Self-determination is a natural right that cannot be denied."
“In the past few days a number of local politicians and officials from regional countries made false and unfair statements about the rights of Kurdish people," he continued.
The President also said that the existence of a Kurdish state in the Middle East is a reality, that can determine its rights.
“Self-determination is a natural right granted by God; this right should not be denied or prevented under any pretext or justification,” Barzani said.
“If the people of Kurdistan wait for others to grant them the right to independence, it will never be achieved,” he stated.
Referring to Sykes-Picot Agreement, Barzani said that dividing the Middle East without considering the original people of the region was a failed policy. “The rights of Kurdish people should not be sacrificed for political interests," he added.
The President also said that the time has come and the opportunity is ideal for the people of Kurdistan to determine their future through a referendum.
"The referendum will be held through peaceful dialogue and understanding," Barzani stated.
Additionally, he mentioned that the Kurdistan Region has never been a threat to anyone and neither will independence.
Barzani concluded that the referendum does not mean an immediate declaration of independence, rather for the people of Kurdistan to determine their will. Likewise, he said that it is an opportunity for the political leadership in Kurdistan to implement people’s will.
Reporting by Baxtiyar Goran
Editing by Benjamin Kweskin and Karzan Sulaivany