Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Northern Iraq’s Kurdish Region to Hold Referendum this Fall | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55371507

Kurdish Peshmerga forces celebrate Newroz Day, a festival marking spring and the new year, in Kirkuk March 20, 2017. (Reuters)

Erbil – A referendum will be held this fall to decide on the political fate of northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, revealed the media advisor of Iraq Kurdistan presidential office, Kifah Mahmoud.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Mahmoud said: “The leaderships of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have discussed, during their latest meeting chaired by President Masoud Barzani, the outcome of the visit of a Kurdish delegation to Baghdad.”

He noted in this regard that an agreement was reached to form a higher committee that would include the different Kurdish political factions, to negotiate with Iraqi national forces the means to resolve unsettled problems ahead of the referendum.

Last week, a delegation from the Kurdish regional government held talks in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, President Fouad Masum and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. The delegation included KDP member Fazil Miran, PUK member Adnan Mufti and Barzani’s chief-of-staff Fouad Hussein.

Mahmoud said the referendum would represent an opportunity for the Kurdish people to “consolidate their national identity.”

“The Kurdish people also have the right to enjoy their free will and to decide the fate of their country,” he added.

The media advisor stressed the international community’s support to the right of Iraqi Kurds to determine their fate.

He noted in this regard that the new US administration has voiced its respect to the people of the Kurdistan Region and their struggle for independence.

“There are around seven million Kurds living in Iraqi Kurdistan and they have the right to consolidate their national and patriotic identity,” Mahmoud stated.

He also lauded major victories achieved by the Peshmerga in the fight against ISIS.