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Rudaw

Kurdistan

US concerned about 'date' of the Kurdish referendum

By Rudaw 14/7/2017
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WASHINGTON, United States –The United States thinks that the Kurdish referendum should not take place in September as the process seems to be happening in a "fast timeline", also warning that the referendum in the disputed areas would be destabilizing, the US Envoy to the Global Coalition against ISIS has said.

Asked by a Rudaw reporter whether the United States is against the timing of the Kurdish referendum scheduled for September 25, or against the process altogether, McGurk stated in Washington Thursday that they think the timing is not right, and that they urge dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad.

"So I spoke to this in Baghdad last week. I saw Prime Minister Abadi, I saw President Barzani, we consulted with everybody. We do not think the referendum should happen in September," McGurk said in a news briefing after a Small Group meeting of the Global Coalition in Washington.

"We think that under the Iraqi constitution there is an important process of dialogue that has to take place. And having a referendum on such a fast timeline, particularly in disputed areas, would be, we think, significantly destabilizing and we’ve made those views very clear. So we are in consultations with all parties."

Kurdish officials, including President Masoud Barzani have said on more than an occasion that the US has concerns regarding the timing of the referendum, as the US administration had asked Erbil to postpone it until after the general elections in Iraq that is expected to take place in April, 2018. The Kurdish government has refused to change the date of the referendum, mainly because the Iraqi election may not take place on time.

Responding to questions about the timing of the vote, President Barzani demanded on Tuesday, "You tell us, when is the right time?"
 
Those who oppose the timing have failed to provide "the right time" for a vote on the right to self-determination, he challenged as he addressed European lawmakers in Brussels. 

A high-level Iraqi delegation headed by the Iraqi oil minister Jabar Ali al-Louaibi visited Erbil on Wednesday and met with the Kurdish government, including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

The visit, the first since Erbil announced its plans to hold the independence referendum, came amid outstanding issues between the two sides, mainly related to the border and oil, as well as the issue of disputed areas claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, that will take part in the referendum.

McGurk said that the visit by the Iraqi delegation was a "good sign" and, he said, Erbil and Baghdad  discussed "some of these difficult issues," in's Wednesday meeting. 

A statement published by the Kurdish government following the meeting did not mention the issue of the referendum.
 
The visit by the Iraqi government delegation is said to have been made upon the request of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. 
 
The two sides showed that they are ready to “open a new chapter and continue dialogue to resolve their problems,” the statement by Erbil read. 
 
The statement added that they “also discussed the formation of a joint committee to further and reorganize the mechanism of the cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad in the fields of oil, electricity in such a way that it takes into consideration the interests of all the Iraqi people.”

"I think the delegation that came from Baghdad to Erbil yesterday to talk about some of these very difficult issues is a positive sign. That’s the type of dialogue I think we need to see," McGurk said of the high-level meeting in Erbil. 

"But right now ISIS is not finished," the US envoy added.  "We have to be very clear about that. They’re in Tal Afar, just south of the Kurdistan region. They’re in Hawija, just south of Kirkuk. The Hawija operation will be very, very complex. It’ll involve Iraqi Security Forces, it’ll involve Peshmerga. So this is not the time to hold a referendum in these areas, and I think we’ve made that very clear and I think we’ve – right now I think there’s a dialogue process going on and we’re going to leave it – we’re going to leave it there."

The US appreciates the “legitimate aspirations” of Kurds, but it supports Iraqi unity, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters after the Kurdistan Region announced the vote will be held in September. 

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Muraz Adzhoev | 14/7/2017
"Fast timeline"? It took more than 10 years of overwhelming political efforts, which were taken by the KRG to provide equal cooperation and true partnership with Baghdad federal authorities. Years of wasted time, discrimination of rights, bloodshed, terrorism, corruption, humanitarian disasters, mass crimes, genocides. Iraq have been governed and managed without Baghdad's respectful attitued the Constitution, which led to collapse and division of the country. Iraq is dead and failed, Mr. McGurk, and the US administration should admit the obvious fact in order to defeat al kind of threats to security, stability and peace in the whole region, including of course Syria and Western Kurdistan. Now the USA is obliged to support, protect and recognize independence of reintegrated Southern Kurdistan from Iraq. And think about Western Kurdistan region, which has to be reintegrated with independent Kurdistan in favor of peace, stability and security in the Middle-East Region.
A MESSAGE TO Mr. McGURK | 14/7/2017
Mr McGurk changes language quickly according to the changing circumstances.In the Munich summit he said that the American support for Kurdistan was multisided : military, POLITICAL and economic. Sadly he is now failing on his words . He says now that the Kurdish independence will bring instability. Is Iraq a STABLE country Mr McGurk ? . To your knowledge: 1. A portion of Kurdistan was annexed to Iraq by the British air force bombing the Kurds with toxic gas in the very first days of establishing the iraqi state. 2. In 1959 a bloody putch has reversed the monarchy and ever since the story of Iraq is just a mixture of blood, vicious violence, succesive dictatorships and chronical ethnic war on Kurds. 3.Then came Saddam gassing the Kurds killing hundreds of thousand Kurds , burning their villages and towns with the help of America and the British. 4. Then came 8 years of devastating war with Iran. 5. That was followed in 1990 by the invasion of Kuwait. 6. Once again came genocide on Kurds in 1991 which ended with the declaration of a no fly zone. 7.The year 2003 saw the invasion-liberation of Irag from the sunnite Saddam once the favorite of Reagan as he was gassing the Kurds. 8.Then a bloody sunnite rebelion was declared against America in which some 4.500 American soldiers were killed by Arabs, but not even one single American was ever hurt in the Kurdish territory. 9. Despite the full cooperation of the Kurds and their loyalty the U.S. was dismissive of the Kurdish rights and their very existence is denied by the American government.The American administration is even reluctant to pronounce the words KURD of KURDISH and shamefully it seeks alternative words. 10. The year 2012 saw a new surge of Arabism in the form of the caliphate called the Islamist State.This time again they were the brave Kurds, only the Kurds who have stopped and defeated the new wave of the arabo-islamic savagery which beheaded also Americans, British and other nationals. 11.All that in recent memory and still you deny the Kurds their God-given right on freedom and self-determination ? .
THE KURDISH STATE | 14/7/2017
I am a Kurd and I send here a strong message to President Barzani : Dear and honorable President of the Kurdish State , stay and remain firm and determinde on the Kurdish independence. The whole Kurdish Nation stands firm and ready to fight and devastate the world for the sake of establishing the KURDISH STATE. May God bless you .
25 SEPTEMBER 2017 | 14/7/2017
On 25 September the Kurdish Nation will vote unanimously for independence. The Kurdish State will be declared as the final result of the voting will be certified. Nobdoy should have any doubt whatsoever about that.
INDEPENDENCE | 14/7/2017
The declaration of the Kurdish independence will follow immediately the 25 September referendum , the U.S.will most probably be the first to recognize and support the Kurdish State .
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