iraqi fm warns arab counterparts of kurdistan’s independence
Last Updated : GMT 17:53:50
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Stressing need for keeping unity of Iraq

Iraqi FM warns Arab counterparts of Kurdistan’s independence

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Iraqi FM warns Arab counterparts of Kurdistan’s independence

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Jaffari
Baghdad - Arab Today

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Jaffari has regarded the referendum for the independence of Kurdistan as ''unconstitutional and unilateral''. The referendum for the independence of the region of Kurdistan is scheduled for September 25.

Al-Abadi said the referendum does not have the support of the central government, so it is invalid.
The Prime Minister also condemned the illegal sale of Iraqi oil extracted from the province of Kirkuk, now under Kurdish control. 'I called on the Kurdish leadership to come to Baghdad and talk', stated Al-Abadi.

Iran, Turkey and the Arab League, among others, are opposed to the kurdish referendum since they fear that a Yes result will provoke imbalances in the region and a renascence of terrorism. The Kurds are scattered among Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria and only in Iraqi territory, they managed to establish an autonomous republic with capital in Erbil.

According to referendum opponents, a sovereign nation of the Kurdistan will impel the Kurds in other states to obtain equal rights and perhaps even take the weapons. Jaafari said it was important to adhere to the Iraqi constitution and Kurdish separation could have serious repercussions for other countries in the Arab region.

Iraq's parliament voted on Tuesday to reject a referendum on Kurdish independence planned for September 25, authorizing the prime minister to "take all measures" to preserve Iraq's unity, lawmakers said.

A member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) bloc in the Iraqi parliament, Mohammed Othman, told NRT the Kurdistan Region’s referendum was put in the parliament’s session on the request of 80 lawmakers.The decision to reject the referendum was made without taking views of the Kurdish lawmakers, Othman added.

He further said Kurdish lawmakers left the session after the other members of the Iraqi parliament did not listen to the Kurdish MPs, who called for a committee to tackle the issue. Kurds have sought an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East and left Kurdish-populated territory split between modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

On the other hand, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has held a telephone conversation with his Qatari counterpart, discussing an ongoing dispute between Qatar and a number of other Arab countries, Qatari media say. The state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA) and Qatari Al Sharq newspaper reported that Jaafari had talked to Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Sunday night.

The two discussed bilateral relations and a bitter dispute that has been going on between Qatar on the one side and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain on the other since late April. There were no more details about the conversation.

Iraq has sought to stay neutral in the dispute among the Arab countries, and it was not clear who initiated the Sunday phone call. But the news is likely to draw some kind of reaction from Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is considered the force behind the row with Qatar. It has accused Doha of “sponsoring terrorism” and led the other three Arab states in boycotting Qatar, including by laying a partial siege to the country.

Saudi Arabia has in the recent past attempted to cozy up to Iraq. Riyadh opened its embassy in Iraq in 2015 following a 25-year break. Various figures have exchanged bilateral visits more recently. The Sunday telephone conversation between Jaafari and Sheikh Mohammed may now be perceived by Saudi Arabia as an unsolicited public foray into the dispute by Iraq.

 

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