Turkey has already called Erbil's plans for the September 25 referendum a "grave mistake. File Photo: Rudaw
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the main ruling parties of the Kurdistan Region, has said they aim to send a delegation to Turkey to discuss the Kurdistan referendum, following the party’s recent visit to Iran.
“Within the scope of the current situation, it is also important for a delegation of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to visit Turkey in the near future,” the PUK’s politburo office said in a written statement Wednesday evening following a meeting headed by Kosrat Rasul, deputy secretary general of the party.
The meeting discussed the outcome of the party’s visit to Tehran over the weekend and the visit of a government delegation, headed by President Masoud Barzani, to Brussels earlier this month.
Regarding the PUK’s recent visit to Tehran, the statement said they expressed the “acceptability” of the referendum to Iranian leaders.
Iran warned the visiting PUK delegation that an independence referendum will isolate and weaken Kurdistan.
“Although this issue might be attractive in appearance, but actually, it will isolate and pressure the Iraqi Kurds and weaken Kurdistan and finally all of Iraq,” Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said in Tehran on Monday.
Turkey has already described the Kurdish bid for the referendum a "grave mistake."
The PUK statement also stressed the importance of dialogue with Baghdad in the lead up to the September 25 vote.
In order to “conduct the objectives of the referendum in a better way,” and further understand the regional and international policies with regard to the Kurdistan Region, it is important for a joint committee from the Kurdistan Region to visit “Baghdad in particular,” the party said.
The party will also hold meetings with other Kurdistan parties, the statement added.
The PUK has not yet appointed a delegate to Kurdistan’s High Referendum Committee, headed by President Barzani.
The party, which has close ties with the two rivalling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Gorran (Change) Movement, has so far called for the reactivation of the now-paralyzed Kurdish parliament in order to pass a law that sets the mechanism for the planned referendum.
The Kurdistan parliament has not convened since late 2015 because of tensions between the KDP and Gorran.
The PUK has alliance agreements with both parties.