The President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, has criticized the Iraqi foreign ministry and the US, and noted that the KRG might hold a referendum on Kurdish independence before the US presidential elections.
The Iraqi foreign ministry and the US have been criticized by the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, for tolerating the Iraqi government behavior in creating obstacles for the Kurds to prevent them from participating in important coalition meetings in Washington, the ARA News press agency reported on Wednesday.
At the last moment, the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was added to the Iraqi delegation to Washington, as a result of lobbying work of the Kurds and pressure.
Earlier, the head of the KRG’s foreign relations, Falah Mustafa, told ARA News that the Kurds need proper representation in anti-ISIS meetings since the Kurds give humanitarian support to displaced people from Mosul and play an important role in the fight against ISIS.
“The Peshmerga forces with their bravery and sacrifices have drastically weakened the terrorists and have proven once again that they are an essential anti-terror force in the region,” Masoud Barzani said.
“In spite of this very obvious fact, the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs recently created obstacles for a Kurdish representative to be present in the last anti-Islamic State summit in Washington,” he added.
The US, as a host of the summit, was also blamed by the Kurdish president. “Unfortunately the hosts of that summit went along with the Iraqi Foreign Minister. This is a mere one example of many where the people of the Kurdistan Region and their aspirations are deliberately neglected in accordance to the personal mood of certain individuals,” Masoud Barzani said.
According to the Kurdish president, the Kurds are indeed in need of their own sovereignty where they are able to determine their fate. Barzani also noted that the KRG might hold a referendum on Kurdish independence before the US presidential elections.
The Kurdish president said that there are only two choices for the Kurds in Iraq: movement towards independence, or accepting the status quo. “With the aid of His Almighty and the will of the people of the Kurdistan Region, it will become clear to us in the near future as to who would rather trail behind, obeying the orders of others and who would choose sovereignty,” he concluded.
A researcher with the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Ceng Sagnic, said that the statement of the KRG president is not related to the conference in Washington, but to the intention to hold a referendum.
“I don’t think it’s related to the conference in DC, but more about Kurdish domestic politics. Barzani’s initiative to hold a referendum on independence is not supported by PUK [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan] and Goran and this statement seems to be a signal of unilateral action by KDP to hold the referendum,” Ceng Sagnic told ARA News.
“Also the KRG High Elections Committee released a statement today which was not a coincidence that they are ready to hold the referendum in four months and that there are no obstacles to hold the referendum in the disputed territories,” the researcher added.