President Masoud Barzani met with the UN’s Jan Kubis on Sunday. Photo: KRP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – President Masoud Barzani accused the United Nations of acting against its founding principles in its opposition to the Kurdistan independence referendum.
In a meeting on Sunday with the UN’s special representative in Iraq Jan Kubis, Barzani complained the UN was acting in opposition to all the basic rights enshrined in international agreements by failing to support the Kurdistan nation expressing their self-determination rights, according to a statement from the presidency’s office.
Barzani reiterated that the referendum is the “simplest” democratic right, the nation has decided on it and will not turn back. The vote will be held on September 25, he stated.
After the vote, Barzani said talks will continue between Erbil and Baghdad on the issue of borders and all other questions. He said the talks will be conducted in a peaceful way in order to reach an understanding that will allow the two to become good neighbors.
Kubis said he was in Erbil to get an update on the situation and discuss with Barzani current events and the post-referendum environment, according to the statement.
Kubis, who is the special representative of UN chief Antonio Guterres, said he would deliver Barzani’s concerns about the international community’s stance against the independence referendum. He added that the UN would continue its efforts to bring rival sides closer together.
The UN’s official stance is that the "unilateral referendum" will destabilize the region and the UN supports the "sovereignty of Iraq and its territorial, unity and integrity."
The UN Security Council addressed the referendum in a meeting on Thursday.
"Council members expressed their continuing respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Iraq and urged all outstanding issues between the federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to be resolved, in accordance with the provisions of the Iraqi Constitution, through structured dialogue and compromise supported by the international community,” read a statement from the Council after its meeting.
In his meeting with Kubis, Barzani emphasized that the Kurdistan Region would continue to fight against ISIS as it has done in the past, including coordinating with the Iraqi army. He said they would also embrace any flow of refugees and displaced persons, as the Kurdistan Region has been doing.
Kubis thanked Barzani for his stance on those issues.