The head of the Kurdistan Regional Government has announced preparations for a referendum on independence of the region from Iraq.
During a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Massoud Barzani, has announced preparations for a referendum on independence of the region from Iraq. According to Barzani, “the referendum, which is the highest form of democracy, will be held in Iraqi Kurdistan in the near future.”
Barzani noted that the international community should get to know about the Kurdish people’s opinion.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi commented on these statements. According to al-Abadi, “separation of Kurdistan from Iraq does not meet the interests of Kurds.”
“Not only Iraq, but also Turkey and Syria, where a large number of Kurds live, oppose the aspiration of Erbil [the administrative center of Iraqi Kurdistan] to its sovereignty,” the Iraqi Prime Minister said.
About 7 million ethnic Kurds live in Iraq, while the country’s total population is around 36 million people. Since 2005, Iraqi Kurdistan has the status of an autonomous region within Iraq. This status is prescribed in the Iraqi constitution. It is quite probably that if Iraqi Kurds vote for the independence, Turkish Kurds, whose number is about 17 million without taking into account Kurdish refugees from neighboring Syria, will try to use the precedent.