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VP Rasul, Gov Karim rally for Kurdistan independence in Kirkuk

By Rudaw 19/9/2017


KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region - A major rally to support the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum is being held at Kirkuk’s citadel on Tuesday with VP Kosrat Rasul and Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim delivering reassuring messages to the crowds.
Kosrat Rasul, the vice president of the Kurdistan Region, addressed the ralliers, saying that Peshmerga have protected the people of Kirkuk without discrimination and will continue to do so.

The VP re-iterated the position of other leaders that Kurdistan would accept an alternative for referendum but must have “international witnesses” not that of “locals.”


He said that they have to be “a factor of democracy” in Kirkuk and maintain good relations with other components in the city, including Arabs and Turkmen and Assyrians.


“Together, we have to protect the unity of our nation,” Rasul urged.


He described Kirkuk as “the city of harmony and brotherhood,” urging all parties to take part in the upcoming independence referendum in Kirkuk.


About a recent decision made by the Iraqi parliament upon a call from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to remove Karim, from his post as Kirkuk governor, Rasul said “we do not give any weight  to the decisions made against Najmaldin Karim,” by Baghdad.

Rasul urged people of Kurdistan to vote in the referendum because Iraqi governments "have not implemented the demands of the Kurdistan people."



Karim, for his part, described the province as “the Jerusalem of Kurdistan, its heart, and it will remain as such.”
“September 25, is the date of the fate of Kurdistan people,” he said, adding that voting on September 25 proves to the world, once again, that this land belongs to Kurdistan.

He explained Peshmerga provide comfortable living for the city’s components.

Last updated at 12:18 p.m.


Pav1 | 19/9/2017
Hi, does anyone know the name of the song in the first video? Many thanks.
Azad | 19/9/2017
Looks like the KRG leadership (excluding corrupt Gorran) have all set their mind on the eferendum no matter what. Not only did Baghdad, Iran and Turkey come out against like expected. But US, UK, Spain, Germany and other western countries, even the UN have come out very sharply against the referendum. For a landlocked region like KRG this makes it very difficult. If we go through Iran, Baghdad will close their border immediately. They will likely attack Kirkuk through millitia proxies. But they won't be able to use airstrikes against kurds as this is too controversial. Peshmerga may be strong enough to defend Kirkuk. At least until international intervention and ceacefire. Unlikely Turkey or Iran will invade KRG as this would be through recognized KRG provinces that have not been invaded for 25 years. It would be too controversial i.e. international crisis. But Turkey could close the border. This is unlikely because it would force KRG to not only hold the referendum but declare independence immediately instead of waiting. We would have nothing to lose at that point. But Turkey might think KRG will be too cautious to the take the big step and declare independence, so they might just close the border anyways which would devastate both KRG and Rojava that depends on its open border with KRG. At that point KRG may negotiate with Turkey, using immediate declarion of independence as leverage for turks to reopen the border. Turks likely know this already so they probably won't close the border to begin with, instead they will be secretly negotiating with KRG through out this ordeal that they'll keep the border open on the condition that KRG meet certain criterias before independence. This would include guarantees in regards to turkish security and their concerns over PKK, aswell as special status for turkmen in KRG. Ofcourse we would have no choice but to accept with all other borders already closed. This is a good deal for all kurds. Much of the ongoing turkish vocal condemntion of kurdish referendum and independence could be an act to reassure the nationalists in Turkey. As long as they keep that border open we shoudn't care about what they say to the media. Its what the turks do that really speaks the truth not what they say and if they keep the border open then this is a sign of a cover agreement to accept not only kurdish referendum but independence even if they can't say it publicly.
Hawar | 19/9/2017
Kurds must stand firm on Sep25 Referendum and do not postponed and delay with any condition and price we dont have to listen to super powers and West they are the one who create the situation for our nation since World War I.they want to renew that in different form. Referendum is the best scenario for kurd regardless of any cost. YES FOR INDEPENDENCE
Yassir Fekaiki
Yassir Fekaiki | 19/9/2017
Corrupt Gorran? you kidding right? what about all the Corrupt Talabanis and the rest? they dont count? how many billions of people's rights have to vanish for the people to wake up to the fact that these blood sucking parasites have been draining the people's interests whilst giving them false hopes and empty promises since the establishment of every political block
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