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Rudaw

Iraq

PM Abadi: I won’t deploy tanks to Kurdistan in response to referendum

By Rudaw 25/7/2017
File photo shows the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi greeted by Iraqi commanders and security forces in Mosul on July 9, 2017, a day before he declared victory over ISIS in the city. Photo: Iraqi PM media office
File photo shows the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi greeted by Iraqi commanders and security forces in Mosul on July 9, 2017, a day before he declared victory over ISIS in the city. Photo: Iraqi PM media office
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that he will not “deploy tanks” to the Kurdistan Region in response to the Region’s planned referendum this fall, despite the vote being “unconstitutional, illegitimate.” Iraq will not recognize the results, he said.
 
Asked about the referendum in his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Abadi said that all Iraqis, including Kurds, live “in one country that has a constitution” and the constitution does not have a section that allows for one party to unilaterally hold a referendum to separate from the rest of the country.
 
“That is why the way we deal with the referendum is that it is unconstitutional, illegitimate, and we will not deal with it,” Abadi said. 
 
He added that while he respects Kurdistan’s aspirations, one party on its own can not decide on the future of the country. 
 
He ruled out military confrontation. “I mean, what I will do? Will I deploy tanks, for example? I will not do that,” Abadi said.
 
He warned Kurdistan’s leadership about going forward with the referendum on September 25, which he said will have “bad” consequences for both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Instead, he called for dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve their many outstanding issues.
 
Abadi also questioned the authority of the Kurdistan Region in conducting the referendum.
 
He questioned whether all Kurdish parties are behind the vote and he pointed out the issue of the suspended parliament, internal political disputes, and the sacking of several ministries of the Regional government.
 
Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani said earlier this month that they will not seek authorization from Baghdad. 
 
“Regarding the credibility of this decision, if you want the Baghdad parliament to make this decision, it is a fact that they will never make this decision. And we don’t need the Baghdad parliament to make this decision, either,” Barzani said when asked whether or not Erbil would seek a go ahead from the Iraqi parliament.
 
He accused the Iraqi leadership of having "the same culture" of genocide as practiced by past Iraqi governments.
 
Iraq’s Defense Minister Erfan Al-Hayali told Rudaw on Monday that the Iraqi army is staying out of the referendum dispute between Erbil and Baghdad, describing it as a “political issue” the armed forces will never interfere with.

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PLINY THE KURD | 25/7/2017
Baghdad "respects the aspirations of the Kurdish nation ", but considers the unilateral separation as illegal and unconstitutioal , but it will not stop it by any miltitary means. It is a good news for the Kurds and for everyone.
Gorran is betrayal | 25/7/2017
A reasonable Iraqui leader like Abadi is better than a Kurdish traitor like Gorran.
guest worker | 25/7/2017
Good! but you know what else is even more unconstitutional and illegitimate mr. Abadi ? the Iraqi central government 1. cutting Kurdistan regions budget for 4 years 2. Deliberately not implementing article 140 of the constitution for over a decade 3. Not paying or sending arms/gear to the Peshmerga forces since 2005. The list is just too long.... if you people were genuinely concerned for Iraqs unity you wouldn't have violated every agreement and the constitution like that. Too late now.
K.K.K | 25/7/2017
Iraq, the U.S., the U.K. and most countries do respect the legitimate aspirations of the Kurdish nation; only Iran and its agent called Gorran reject the Kurdish national aspirations.
Hersh | 26/7/2017
Although they have not entirely grasped what a referendum really is and what's constitutional and what's not I will give the Iraqi PM and defense Minster credit for making it clear that this dispute (or whatever you want to call it) can not be solved with guns, that's actually a milestone in Iraqi mentality when it comes to solving disputes.
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