Kurdish people release doves during in a peaceful demonstration at Erbil International Airprt after the Iraqi central government ordered the indefinite halt to all foreign flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan on September 29, 2017. Photo: AFP / Safin Hamed
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The High Referendum Council that lobbied for the independence vote which took place on Monday is to meet in Erbil today with the particiption of Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, likely to put the word 'independence' in the council's name.
It is the first such meeting after a 92-percent vote to leave Iraq.
Sadq Jabari, a member of the Council, told Rudaw that the meeting will discuss and assess the world reaction and pressures mounted on Kurdistan, in addition to laying out a program for the next stage.
He added that the Council may change its name to the High Independence Council or the High National Council.
The meeting comes after the Kurdish parliament, that had called for the vote on September 15, committed the Kurdish government on Saturday to follow through with the mandate granted by the vote.
The Iraqi government introduced a number of punitive measures against the Kurdistan Region on Wednesday, including closing Kurdistan’s land and air entry points to the outside world, something rejected by the Kurdish government and the parliament.
The neighbouring countries such as Turkey and Iran have also said that they are ready to help Baghdad carry out those measures. While the United States, an ally of the Kurdish Peshmerga in the war against ISIS, has said they do not recognize the referendum that lacks legitimacy but urged all sides to avoid confronation or further escalation of the situation.
President Barzani has said that Kurdistan Region is ready to enter talks with Baghdad, with the support of the international community, for two years during which the two sides can agree on borders and iron out other disagreements including on oil and natural resources, to be followed by an eventual conclusion– for the two nations to live as “two good neighbours.”