Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Kurdistan

No alternative to September 25 referendum yet, member of Erbil negotiation team in Baghdad

By Rudaw 18/8/2017
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani earlier this month declined a request from the United States to postpone the independence referendum set for September 25. He told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that they failed to provide an alternative. File photo: Rudaw
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani earlier this month declined a request from the United States to postpone the independence referendum set for September 25. He told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that they failed to provide an alternative. File photo: Rudaw
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A member of the Kurdistan referendum delegation visiting Baghdad denied that they have taken a soft line regarding its date, adding that they stick to the decisions made by the leadership in Kurdistan that also includes holding the vote on September 25.

Saadi Ahmad Pira denied media reports that they are prepared to postpone the vote if Baghdad agrees to set a date sometime next year under the supervision of the international community, including the United States.

“As of yet, we have not seen anything that can be an alternative to the referendum,” Pira told reporters in Baghdad on Thursday.

“What we are doing now is a sound negotiation with parties within the framework of the decisions made by the High Referendum Council and the [Kurdistani] parties. We strictly adhere to the principles that pushed us to hold the referendum,” he added.

The Referendum Council that is headed by Kurdish President Masoud Barzani has set September 25 for the vote in the Kurdistan Region and the disputed or Kurdistani areas claimed both by Erbil and Baghdad.

On Thursday, a Kurdish source with knowledge of the negotiations and who asked not to be named, told Rudaw that there is “a small chance” that the Kurdistan Region would agree to postpone the referendum until after the Iraqi elections if Baghdad gives guarantees to give the go-ahead for the referendum at a later date.
 
The guarantee should come “in writing” and be observed by the United Nations and the United States, the source explained.

The source said the delegation showed a softer line since the Iraqi ruling Shiite National Alliance, which includes Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Dawa party, expressed their willingness to solve all outstanding issues that pushed Erbil to call the referendum.

The delegation is expected to meet once again this weekend with the National Alliance and resume negotiations, remaining in the Iraqi capital until Monday.

Each side is preparing their stances between now and the meeting later this week, the source said, also confirmed by Romio Hakari, another member of the delegation, adding that Baghdad should also agree to implement a number of articles of the Iraqi constitution which the Kurdistan Region say have been violated by Baghdad, chief among them Article 140 and the budget cut.
 
Hakari, who is a Christian member of the delegation, told Rudaw on Thursday that the Alliance promised to solve all outstanding issues between the two governments. He said they will set a "timeline" for Iraq to take steps towards solving the problems within a very short time. 

The decision to postpone the vote lies with the High Referendum Council back in Erbil, Hakari said. 

Pira, of the delegation, continued to say that the referendum is the “only legal way to reach independence. What we aim for is not secession, but independence.”
 
Erbil has prepared a lengthy report that it claims proves Iraq violated about 50 articles of the Iraqi constitution.
 
They have met with Iraqi and foreign officials in the Iraqi capital, including with members of the Shiite Alliance, separately.
 
PM Abadi, VP Maliki, and Iraq’s parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri, among others, have said that any step taken by the Kurdistan Region, including the referendum, should have constitutional backing.

Baghdad calls the referendum unconstitutional, unilateral, and has said it will not recognize the results.

Erbil had so far refused to postpone the referendum, despite calls from Baghdad and neighbours such as Turkey and Iran. It even turned down a request from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when he made a phone call with the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani earlier this month.

Barzani told Tillerson that the United States failed to provide an alternative to the September referendum.

 

Comments

 
Adel Amini | 20/8/2017
Masoud Barzani as ever is up to facing difficulties and keeping strong with every dick and harry asking to forget the independence referendum. Masoud is keeping the up spirits of the brave and determined Kurds in Iraq and yes the referendum will go ahead and the Kurds have the willpower to see it through. Well done Masoud and keep it up.
Post a New Comment
Comment as a guest or Login for more enhanced interactive experience

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

eclipeseden | 9/25/2017 11:57:23 AM
Oil is the curse of Middle East!!! Best thing Turkey and other oppressive countries in Middle East is to do for newly Kurdistan is to block...
Sherwani | 9/25/2017 3:25:23 PM
Turkey will forever discourage the Kurds from gaining independency, however, at some points in life, Enough is ENOUGH and we (Us Kurds) will take our...
Turkey's Erdogan threatens to shut off oil pipeline, to close border
| 12 hours ago | (3)
Bob | 9/25/2017 3:14:52 PM
Never trust Turks, much less Erdogan. NEVER.
Sully | 9/25/2017 3:23:17 PM
The fascist government of Turkey and its dispicable behavior only proves how anti democratic and totalitarian it is! Turkeys unfounded fear and...
Turkey halts Rudaw broadcast on Turksat satellites
| 8 hours ago | (2)
Penina Sarah | 9/25/2017 3:14:37 PM
I do not dislike these comments. I agree with them. The history of western and US betrayal of Kurdish interests is disgraceful with the exception...
Penina Sarah | 9/25/2017 3:14:38 PM
I do not dislike these comments. I agree with them. The history of western and US betrayal of Kurdish interests is disgraceful with the exception...
US opposes elections in Syria's Kurdish enclaves
| 19/9/2017 | (9)
Jay | 9/25/2017 11:38:36 AM
Haidar is a barking dog, this man is so incompetent that he can not run a school, is that really you Haidar or some one is pushing you.
Murf | 9/25/2017 2:36:50 PM
Well it looks like the Shia are going to make this as ugly as possible. You would think after getting kick hard in 4 separate wars they would have...
Baghdad demands control over borders, oil on eve of referendum
| yesterday at 10:10 | (13)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Counting begins after high voter turnout in Kurdistan referendum 3 hours ago | (17)

Counting begins after high voter turnout in Kurdistan referendum

72.16 percent voter turnout more
In-Pictures: High turn out for independence referendum in Kirkuk 7 hours ago |

In-Pictures: High turn out for independence referendum in Kirkuk

78.7 percent voted in Monday's referendum in more
0.531 seconds