Kurdish people celebrate the national day of Kurdistan flag in 2014: File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has said that the reactions from the neighbouring countries and some members of the international community to the Kurdish referendum to be held on September 25 are “very normal” and do not cause concern for Erbil, while President Masoud Barzani has said the people of Kurdistan can “determine their own fate.”
Speaking to reporters following a meeting of his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), PM Barzani told reporters briefly that they believe the reactions are so far so good.
“I believe from what we have seen so far, the reactions of the countries are very normal. There is nothing in it that could cause concerns,” PM Barzani said, when asked about the stance of the countries to the referendum.
He said that the referendum is to tell the world what the people of Kurdistan want.
“I believe what has been done so far by the countries is a normal thing. It is not a big reaction,” PM Barzani added.
He also hoped that both Gorran or Change Movement and the Islamic League (Komal), who have so far refused to join the referendum committee with tomorrow’s deadline, will join.
“It is a process for all of the people of Kurdistan,” PM Barzani said, adding that it does not belong to one political party.
He said that it is the duty of all of the people of Kurdistan, including Kurds, Turkmens and Assyrians to take part in the process.
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani briefly spoke to reporters after the meeting
“I say only this: Congratulations to the people of Kurdistan. I call on them to head to the ballot box on September 25 and vote and determine their own fate. That is it,” he said.
Iraqi and foreign leaders have largely urged unity between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Saad al-Hadithi, the spokesperson of Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi, was quoted as saying by state TV on Friday that “Any decision that concerns the future of Iraq must take into consideration the constitutional texts as it is an Iraqi decision," adding the entire Iraqi nations should have their say over the future relations between Erbil and Baghdad.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the decision to hold an independence referendum on is a “grave mistake” and against Turkey's Iraq policy that seeks the preservation of the territorial integrity of that country.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters on Saturday that “Erbil and Baghdad should solve their differences through dialogue.”
“The principal and clear position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to support Iraq’s territorial integrity and unity,” he added.