Kurdish leader vows independence referendum in months

Iraqi Kurd president Masoud Barzani told the BBC that a referendum could be held in a matter of months.

Kurdish leader vows independence referendum in months

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Iraqi Kurdish leader has told the BBC he wants to hold a referendum on independence within months.

Masoud Barzani said in an interview with the British broadcaster on Tuesday: “Independence is a natural right of the people of Kurdistan, all these developments confirm that, and from now on we won’t hide that the goal of Kurdistan is independence.”

He said that Iraq was already partitioned and that Kurds would not “abandon our goal and basic project, which is the independence of Kurdistan”.

“We can’t experiment with our fate for another 10 years, we can’t remain hostage to an unknown future,” he added.

Barzani said that any potential referendum would have to be decided by parliament and would be for all citizens of Kurdistan.

'No threat'

He added that the Kurds would continue to work with their Arab and Sunni “brothers” in the Iraq crisis.

Barzani told the BBC, “We will hold a referendum in Kurdistan and will respect and be bound by the decision of our people, and hope that others will do likewise.”

Last month Barzani said that a plebiscite will be held in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk based upon Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution.

The Kurdish administration's defense forces - called the Peshmerga - seized control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk after the Iraqi army pulled out of the area in mid-June following a major offensive by armed insurgents led by the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Barzani told the BBC that a future Kurdish state would have the “best of relations with all its neighbors and will not be a threat to anyone at all".

Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2014, 16:04
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