Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi [L] met with Iran's Vice President Eshaq Jahangiti [R] in Tehran on October 26, 2017. Photo: Iraqi PM media office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday that they will not accept anything from the Kurdish government less than cancelling the Kurdish independence referendum that was held on September 25 despite Baghdad’s opposition. His remark comes a day after the Kurdish authorities offered to freeze the outcome of the independence vote.
“We do not accept anything but cancelling the referendum, and adherence to the [Iraqi] constitution,” PM Abadi said while meeting the Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri in Tehran.
Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei said on Thursday that he stands by PM Abadi's measures to preserve Iraq's territorial integrity
Jahangiri, on his part, congratulated the Iraqi leader on his victory against the ISIS militants and for his efforts to protect the territorial integrity of Iraq.
Following the nearly 93-percent vote for independence, Iraqi forces and the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi have taken control of almost all disputed or Kurdistani areas from the Kurdish Peshmerga since October 16, including oil-rich Kirkuk.
Arguing against what would be a devastating war between Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, the KRG proposed three things on Wednesday morning: the cessation of fighting in the Kurdistan Region; freezing the outcome of the independence referendum; and beginning dialogue with the federal government on the basis of the Iraqi constitution.
PM Abadi is on a Mideast tour and has so far visited Saudi Arabia, Cairo, Jordan, Turkey and Iran. These countries have all expressed their support for the territorial integrity of Iraq in light of the Kurdish vote.
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Last updated at 1:03 p.m.