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Abadi Warns Kurds From ‘Dark Tunnel’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An Iraqi Kurdish man decorates a car with the Kurdish flags ahead of the upcoming independence referendum in Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on September 7, 2017. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED

Baghdad- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Kurds from entering a “dark tunnel” in case they hold the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming referendum on independence, scheduled for Sept. 25.

During a press conference held on Thursday, Abadi said: “The foundation of the referendum is unconstitutional and it is not in the interest of our Kurdish nationals to take this path.”

The Iraqi prime minister said he had heard about the referendum through media.

“This is why I told the Kurdish delegation that visited Baghdad lately: How can you ask us for a solution to a problem that we never discussed, but only heard of through the media?” Abadi said.

He also lashed out at the Kurdish political leaderships, accusing them of “deceiving” the Kurdish people through “monopolization and by seeking to achieve their demands through anger.”

Abadi said that such path would lead to no results, adding: “I am speaking for the interest of the Kurds. This referendum does not serve their interests. Political leaders should explain to the people or else they would be sending them to a dark tunnel.”

Next Sept. 25, the northern Iraq’s Kurdish region will hold a referendum on whether to declare formal independence from the Iraqi state. But Baghdad rejects the poll.

The Iraqi prime minister admitted that some Kurdish complaints about not finding real solutions to most of the problems existing between Baghdad and Erbil.

Abadi acknowledged the validity of some Kurdish complaints about not finding real solutions to most problems between Baghdad and Erbil.

Abadi also implicitly criticized the latest deal reached between Hezbollah and ISIS and the statements delivered by his colleague at the “Dawa” party, Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, in which he defended the deal by alleging that a similar agreement had been reached between several Iraqi forces and ISIS in Tal Afar and Mosul.

“ISIS is now being defeated in Syria after the Iraqi forces liberated Mosul and Tal Afar,” he said.