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‘Tillerson renewed US rejection to the Kurdish referendum’ – Iraqi PM

By Rudaw 24/6/2017
Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by telephone on Friday. Composite photo: Iraqi PMO/AP
Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by telephone on Friday. Composite photo: Iraqi PMO/AP

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke about the Kurdish referendum, the successes achieved in the battle for Mosul, Iraqi-Peshmerga forces' cooperation, and regional issues, according to a statement from the PM’s office.

“Tillerson renewed United States rejection to the Kurdish referendum, assuring unifying the efforts with the central government to face the challenges of the stability and rebuilding after completing liberation battles,” reads the PM Office’s statement on the Friday night call. 

According to Abadi's office, he "stressed the importance of benefiting from the successful experience of cooperation between the army and Peshmerga in the battles of liberating Mosul, pointing out the need to unify the efforts and mobilize international efforts to support the financial, economic and state institutions."

The two leaders also discussed Abadi’s recent visits to Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Kuwait.

“[Abadi] assured that Iraqi's view is very clear attempting to avoid wars and conflicts in the reign, serious move assured culturally and historically, developing mutual economic benefits among nations of the region and its countries,” reads the PM’s statement.

It added that Tillerson congratulated Abadi “on the successes achieved in the battle to liberate Mosul” and “affirmed the necessity of the exerting the efforts to eliminate Daesh [ISIS] terror gangs, and not be part of indirect war.”

There was no immediate readout of the conversation from the US State Department. Tillerson has been meeting foreign leaders in East Asia.

Earlier this month the State Department spokeswoman for the United States expressed that the referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region would distract from the defeat of ISIS.

"We support a unified, stable and a federal Iraq," said Heather Nauert. "We appreciate and understand the legitimate aspirations of the people of the Iraqi Kurdistan." 

Nauert warned that the referendum could distract from the final defeat of ISIS. 

"We have expressed our concerns to the authorities in the Kurdistan Region, but holding a referendum even a non-binding resolution at this time would distract from urgent priorities and that be the defeat of ISIS, the stabilization, the return of displaced people, managing of the region's economic crisis, and resolving the region's internal political disputes," she said.

Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and Tillerson had a telephone call on June 1, less than a week before the Kurdistan Region announced its plans to hold a referendum on independence for September 25.

According to Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff to the Kurdish Presidency, US officials have said they would not oppose a referendum “if there is negotiation with Baghdad. Negotiations with Baghdad should start. And they don’t have a problem with it if we reach a result with Baghdad.”


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Hussein | 24/6/2017
I think Kurdistan has the full right to ask for its independence in every way possible. Iraq should allow Kurdistan to choose it's destiny in order to build up its new state. Al-abady is a cunning fox. He does not care about the Yazidis because he is afraid of the IS. He also does not want to give the Kurds their rights in order to have their own independence.
Dear Mr Tillersen | 24/6/2017
The Kurds do not beling to Iraq, and they feel thelselves differenttly as a nation apart.The colonial British and French have partitionned Kurdistan among four hostile states and submitted them violently to those barbaric states who hate you Americans and Westerners.The Iraquis killes 4.500 American soldiers while the Kurds have fought beside the American soldiers and not one single American was ever hurt in the Kurdush territories. Iraq is violent and unstable and there is no such a national feeling whatsoever. There are Shia Arabs and Sunni Arabs who hate each others to death and they are in permanent war. They hate also the Kurds and consider them a foreign ethnicity to suppress and exterminate. In fact Baghdad is in permanent war against the Kurds, it has commited genocide against them and will try to annihilate them by all the lethal means you might supply them, chimicals included as in the past. Only cynics and sadics would say that Iraq is a peacefull and a stable place and pretend to force the Kurds and submit them to the Arabs rule. No ,Mr.Tillersen, the brave Kurds have faught thousand wars for their freedom and have suffered genocide and they are determinde to keep fighting to death for their sacred statehood. No honest and peace-loving people would deny the Kurdish nation its well desrved right on Independence.
Dutchman | 25/6/2017
You can all thumb me down, but at this point I think Thillerson and Abadi are right. It doesn't mean that I am against Kurdish independence, I am stronly in favour of it and not only in Iraq, but also in Syria, Iran and Turkey. But I do not agree on the unilateral way the KRG organizes the referendum. Of the four countries in which Kurdistan is split up, Iraq is far the most peaceful and friendly towards Kurds. Independence should be talked over with Abadi, who seems a reasonable man. Kurdistan and Iraq should look at the Check republic and Slovakia (once Checkoslovakia) or Sweden and Norway (once one country) as examples of how countries can split up in a peaceful and respectful way from both sides.
duroi | 25/6/2017
It is time for KRG president to travel to Moscow and meet with Putin officially. The groundwork has been done and KRG should build on the meeting between KRG PM and Putin in St Petersburg. KRG needs an air-force and purchase of Sukhoi jets and training of pilots speaking Russian should be on the agenda of this meeting. We can start by immediate delivery of some used su22/24 an there may be few Kurdish MIG or Sukhoi pilots in Iraqi or Syrian or ex-soviet armies. Na zdrowie!
Nation | 25/6/2017
There is no an Iraqui nation, it is just a crumblig deadly failed state in permanent war. The Kurds are nation in quest of a state.

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