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Rudaw

Kurdistan

As Iraq Reels, Kurdistan Sounds Out US on Independence

By Rudaw 4/7/2014
The White House in Washington DC, where Kurdish envoys are lobbying for an independence vote: Photo: AFP
The White House in Washington DC, where Kurdish envoys are lobbying for an independence vote: Photo: AFP

WASHINGTON DC – As Iraq’s autonomous Kurds brace for a referendum and possible split from the rest of the country, Erbil has embarked on a global diplomacy to sound opinion on the issue of Kurdish independence.

“We spoke with the Americans about self-determination, and self-determination is done through a referendum,” Fuad Hussein, the Kurdistan president’s chief of staff, told Rudaw on Thursday. “It is something that the people of Kurdistan will decide.”

Hussein was on an official visit to the US capital with Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa to meet with American counterparts.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Erbil more than a fortnight ago, where he asked the Kurds to stay with a united Iraq and help Baghdad establish an inclusive government.

However, according to Mustafa, the American tone is now different in some of the meetings.

“Those kinds of statements have always been there,” Mustafa told Rudaw in Washington, referring to a comment by the State Department spokeswoman, who said that America prefers a united Iraq.

“But what is important is the content,” Mustafa said. “Not only in America, but in many other countries, in Europe, in Arab countries and the international community there has been a change that is more welcoming to the Kurdistan Region.”

During their visit the Kurdish diplomats met with the initial mastermind of Iraq’s three-state solution, former US vice president Joe Biden.

“Fruitful discussions with our longtime friend, vice president Biden,” said Mustafa in a tweet on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani officially broke the ice when he asked the Kurdish parliament in Erbil to set a date for an independence referendum.

“We waited 10 years and the situation got only worse,” Barzani told Kurdish lawmakers about Kurdistan’s participation in Iraqi politics. “We have to think of ourselves and our future.”

“We have to decide for ourselves and not wait for others to do so on our behalf,” he said.

Barzani’s chief of staff, Hussein, has been talking to foreign officials and the world media on the Kurdish decision for a referendum on the future of the autonomous region.

“The people of Kurdistan will decide and everyone will respect what they choose,” said Hussein.

“Iraq is not one Iraq anymore,” he told BBC America during his visit. “We now have three states in one.” 

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Goran | 4/7/2014
I had the opportunity to meet the MEP Dr Allan Macartney, the Scottish national Party (SNP) deputy leader before his death in 1998. He was the brain and strategist behind the independence project in Scotland and he gave this example of Scots and English living in the same house sharing the same kitchen and the same bathroom. Now the Scots wanted to have their own kitchen and their own bathroom and become independent. The Kurdish team can also use the analogy to express that Kurds want to have their own kitchen and washroom too, because the Iraqi one is always on fire or is clogged.
Loner | 4/7/2014
To the Kurdish people please do not think that the action of the American Government reflect the wishes of the people of America. We are with you in your struggles for freedom. We the people are descendants of a people that came to America to be free of tyranny, only to find our freedoms removed from us again. We also declared our independence on this day in 1776. And later fought a war with the British for our freedom. It is too bad our Government has now removed it's self for the people because we are all for your freedom and always have been. TO A FREE KURDISTAN MY BROTHERS!
| 4/7/2014
I love Kurdis, they have golden heart and do understand others problem. I support their movement and demand for independence. I am exposed to many culture as I have traveled 31 countries including Kurdistan. I found Kurdis very close to my heart and have same culture as in India. They share Aryan origin with India. Cheers Kurdis bros.
Nilesh Joshi
Nilesh Joshi | 4/7/2014
I love Kurdis, they have golden heart and do understand others problem. I support their movement and demand for independence. I am exposed to many culture as I have traveled 31 countries including Kurdistan. I found Kurdis very close to my heart and have same culture as in India. They share Aryan origin with India. Cheers Kurdis bros.
d.Neil Green | 4/7/2014
The Obama adm and sec John (coward) Kerry's policies have Iraq open to be taken by anyone. Their failed,flawed policies have led to this current event.Most Americans refer to Obama as Obummer as he is a bummer as a President! His foreign policies have failed America but empowered our enemies and shown he will not respond to anything but a golf games and fund raising.Obama and the clintons have tried to make and break America into socialism. Obummers refusal to secure the boarders of America shows he cares little for Our country.
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