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PUK: Kurdistan should take US, UK, UN alternative to referendum ‘very seriously’

By Rudaw 16/9/2017
File photo shows Mala Bakhtiyar, a senior PUK officials, speaking at an event in 2016.
File photo shows Mala Bakhtiyar, a senior PUK officials, speaking at an event in 2016.

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – A senior Kurdish official from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said that they believe the Kurdish leadership should take the “alternative” offered by the US, UK, and UN “very seriously," an indication that the PUK takes a different view from President Masoud Barzani who described the offer as not sufficient enough.

”We from the PUK believe that the alternative should be taken very seriously,” Mala Bakhtiyar told reporters in Sulaimani.

He said the Kurdish leadership is going to have “important” meetings over two days to study the joint offer.

Bakhtiyar explained his party and other officials are yet “to get know to know the content of the alternative ... to look at what guarantees are there to in fact implement the alternative,” the PUK official continued.

He added the “alternative is to solve problems in Iraq, not to take a seat at the United Nations.”

Bakhtiyar concluded that the alternative “with full consent of the Iraqi government” should make sure that all outstanding issues are solved, the constitution of Iraq upheld, and democracy respected. He said they do not want the talk to be confined to merely financial incentives.

President Barzani received the joint offer from the US, UK, and UN on Wednesday. His office said it will be studied by Kurdish leadership, and then responded to very soon.

The “alternative” that was put forward to the Kurdish leadership in place of the scheduled independence referendum stipulates Erbil to postpone the vote for two years in return for the issue being raised at the United Nations, something the Kurdish president refused saying the alternative be “stronger” than that, a Kurdish official close to Barzani revealed.
Mohammed Haji Mahmud, a veteran Peshmerga and Secretary of the Kurdish Socialist Party, told the Saudi-funded Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that joint offer from the foreign nations plus the UN did not meet the Kurdish demands.
President Barzani said on the same day that any offer should clearly achieve the Kurdish ultimate goal of statehood.
They offered postponing the vote for two years “until a meeting in the United Nations discusses the Iraqi file, including the Kurdistan Region and the independence referendum,” Mohammed known locally as Kaka Hama explained, and that the three stated countries plus the UN would make efforts to “solve the outstanding issues between the Regional government and federal government,” Kaka Hama detailed.
Kaka Hama said the offer was not something “concrete,” and that “the response from President Barzani was that the alternative should be stronger than referendum, and that the issue will be discussed with other Kurdistani parties to take a joint decision.”

Barzani indicated at a pro-referendum rally in Amedi on Friday evening that he refused the offer.

“To this date, we have not received an alternative that can take the place of the referendum,” Barzani said.
The White House demanded that the Kurdish government “call off” the vote, saying that they do not support it, and that it will distract from efforts to defeat ISIS. The statement continued to call on Erbil to hold talks with Baghdad, which the US will “facilitate.”
Kaka Hama said that if the three countries and the UN are serious, they should assign a date for the vote, just like was the case of South Sudan.
Also a commander, Kaka Hama, said of the argument that there will be clashes between the Kurdish Peshmerga and the mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi because the vote is not valid.
“With or without referendum,” we are expecting such a clash, Kaka Hama noted in the disputed or Kurdistani areas claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil.

Baghdad opposed the vote calling it unconstitutional, and the Iraqi parliament has empowered the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to take “all measures” to cancel the vote.


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Ayni | 16/9/2017
Rudaws Turkish owners must be desperate to quote that degenerate Mala Bakhtiar, one of the most corrupt useless persons in Kurdistan
Naif Kapar | 16/9/2017
The referendum should not be postponed, this chance Kurdish people will not have again. This is the right time once in hundred years.
duroi | 16/9/2017
With or without the referendum, the Hashd Shabi's next target is KRG, after they are almost finished with ISIS. This is directed by greedy Iran over which US, UK have no control, and the move parallels the move by Iran allies in Syria to cross the Euphrates and reach the Rojava areas before even finishing ISIS and al-Qaede in Syria. We need to play a game of poker in regard to the offer from the US and there is no harm letting experts study it for a while, until we get to the date of referendum. Showing your hand to the other players on the table in a game of poker is a mistake.
Muraz Adzhoev | 16/9/2017
"PUK believes that the alternative should be taken very seriously", - is it the "indication" that a few PUK senior officials consider the President-Commander, sovereign authorities, Peshmerga army forces, the People of Southern Kurdistan not "very serious"? Those PUK officials are getting far out of their mind. There is one possible, acceptable alternative to the referendum now - that is THE SELF-DETERMINATION OF THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHERN KURDISTAN NOW!
Eamad mazouri | 16/9/2017
There was no serious alternative, its more ike a delay.the problem with the deley without guarantees will diminish or eliminate any clout Kurds have left in Baghdad.they will treat Kurds as before and according to Baghdad mentality and Iranian interests.the best course at this point is to stand behind the president and fullysupport him for referendum to be in time.there many examplea especially former yugoslavia .from slovenia to kosovo and they didnt cave in under any they independent and recognized.ours is only a referendum which is essential step for independence.if kurds stop at this point like mala bekhtiyar is trying to break the kurdish ranks. Dont expect any other opportunity for anything.just look at another once a century opportunity lost.

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