Kurdish leadership says implementing referendum outcome depends


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Political Leadership of Kurdistan – Iraq which earlier this month replaced the High Referendum Council lobbying for the independence vote held its second meeting on Wednesday changing its name to the High Political Council of Kurdistan and reiterating that the Kurdish leadership would commit to the will of Kurdistan nation voting for independence in the referendum. 

Following the meeting which was headed by President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani, the High Political Council of Kurdistan issued a statement saying “the meeting is committed to the will of the Kurdistan nation who expressed freely when turning out and voting in the September 25 referendum.”

It added “implementing the results of the referendum in a timely manner depends on a constructive and responsible dialogue. Thus, the meeting showed willingness to starting an open dialogue with Baghdad unconditionally, without punishment or sanctions and providing necessary time to make it succeed.”

The meeting went on to stress that “imposing punishments on the Kurdistan nation is illegal and irresponsible and that soaring political tensions will serve the interests of no party.”

The statement from the High Political Council of Kurdistan informs the international community that the “Kurdistan nation has faced sanctions and collective punishments and the threats of the use of force, paving the way for leading the humanitarian conditions of the people and refugees in Iraq and Kurdistan to a dangerous phase. Therefore, it calls for limits to be put before these threats, sanctions and the collective punishments.”

The attending parties of the meeting stressed to have continued meetings under the name of “High Political Council of Kurdistan.”

Earlier this month the Kurdistan Region Presidency issued a seven-point statement following the first post-referendum meeting of the Kurdistan political leadership, stressing that, no threat or pressure, could force the people of the Kurdistan Region to withdraw from the decision they made on September 25. 

The people of Kurdistan voted with an overwhelming majority to seek independence from Iraq in a referendum on September 25.

The Kurdistan Region has called several times to hold dialogue with Baghdad since it held a referendum on independence.

But, Baghdad has rejected the result and demanded Kurdistan nullify the vote as a pre-condition for talks, something the Kurdish leadership has refused to do. 

The central Iraqi government has imposed and threatened a number of punitive measures against the Kurdistan Region in the wake of the vote, including closing airports to international flights, taking steps to exert control over Kurdistan’s oil revenues, and ordering the deployment of troops to disputed areas.

In the latest of measures issued by the Iraqi federal government following Kurdistan’s independence vote, Baghdad ordered on Monday that “networks of the communication for mobile phones should be under the authority of the federal authorities and have to be transferred to Baghdad.”



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