Shia cleric urges KRG to cancel referendum results

Ties have strained between Baghdad and Erbil following last month's illegitimate Kurdish referendum

Shia cleric urges KRG to cancel referendum results

World Bulletin / News Desk

Iraq’s firebrand Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has called on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to cancel the results of the illegitimate referendum on the independence of northern Iraq’s Kurdish region.

“I desire the Kurdish region to reverse the Sept. 25 referendum and respect the constitution,” Sadr said in a statement on Saturday.

On Sept. 25, Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq.

According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.

The illegitimate referendum had faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors (including the U.S., Turkey and Iran), who had warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.

In the immediate aftermath of the illegitimate referendum, Baghdad banned international flights from entering KRG-controlled areas and closed all foreign diplomatic missions based in the Kurdish region.

The Shia cleric called for resolving the current dispute between Baghdad and Erbil in the wake of the illegitimate referendum.

“Steps taken by the [Iraqi] government is quite shaming in terms of integrity and unity,” Sadr said, going on to dismiss attempts by Iraqi lawmakers to sack Iraqi President Fuad Masum, a Kurd.

“This is a political pressure and this is unacceptable,” he said.

Baghdad said that it will not hold dialogue with KRG unless the latter cancels the results of the illegitimate referendum.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ekim 2017, 16:46