Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has rekected a suggestion of the separatist Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to “freeze” the results of Kurdish independence referendum.
The referendum took place in northern Iraqi areas controlled by KRG military forces on September 25. Using it, the KRG was seeking to turn a large part of northern Iraq into an independent Kurdish state.
However, KRG forces failed to keep their positions in the contested areas, including the city of Kirkuk, after the Iraqi Army launched a security operation there on October 16. The Kurdish Peshmerga withdrew from oil-rich Kirkuk areas and many other points across northern Iraq.
The KRG reacted to collapse of its forces with a large-scale propaganda campaign against the Federal Government and multiple requests to the “international community” to help to defend the KRG’s “democracy” controlled by the clan of KRG President Masoud Barzani. However, this didn’t help also.
On October 25, the KRG promised to “freeze the results of referendum” and suggested “an open dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi Federal Government on the basis of the Consititution” if Iraqi forces accept a “ceasefire and halt all military operations in the Kurdistan Region.”
It’s interesting to note that the KRG says that “Iraqi Kurdistan” includes all areas that KRG forces seized during the conflict with ISIS while the real administrative borders of the Kurdish autonomous region are much smaller.
On October 26, the KRG got the answer. The Iraqi prime minister said that the illegitimate referendum’s results should be “entirely annulled” and not simply “suspended”.
“The referendum was held at a time when we were fighting a war against the Daesh terrorist group,” al-Abadi said on the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran with Iranian Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri. “We warned them not to hold the poll, but to no avail.”
Al-Abadi added that the government is able “to impose federal authority over all Iraqi territory is a victory for all Iraqi citizens.”
“We plan to bring all these areas under the authority of the [Iraqi] state,” he added.