Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Iraq PM rejects any Kurdish independence referendum

Iraq PM rejects any Kurdish independence referendum

Until the vote was called, Turkey and the KRG actually enjoyed fairly pragmatic relations.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi on Tuesday said he was "ready for dialogue" with the Kurdistan Region to settle outstanding oil issues. How will this referendum influence Kurdish movements within the region? In contrast to this, Iranian officials have taken a more subtle and soft tone towards the referendum.

Such a notion is not farfetched due to its destructive impact on the U.S. relation with Baghdad and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, Turkey. Abbadi has warned that the Kurdistan region's independence drive is in fact playing with fire. It is believed that Turkish trade with the Region will likely increase significantly with a stable, prosperous and strong KRG. "We appreciate the efforts of United Nations envoy to Iraq Ján Kubiš in this regard, but we categorically reject the internationalisation of the referendum crisis and attempts to abolish the national role".

Gaining wider global recognition will also not be an easy process. Baghdad should see this as an opportunity to address the Kurdish question.

Statehood can not materialise overnight.

Police deployed overnight Monday in the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk to prevent a deadly dispute from developing into ethnic clashes ahead of a referendum on Kurdish independence, local residents said.

This is a reality that can not be escaped or changed without undermining the entire sectarian political establishment. Erected in July, the statue has come to symbolize how the Kurds want to cement their hold on oil-rich Kirkuk and other parts of the region by holding next Monday's vote. Ankara has already threatened to ramp up its military presence in Iraqi Kurdistan if the PKK, which has waged an insurgency within Turkey's borders, continues to threaten its security. The referendum could raise particular tension in Kirkuk, where Kurds vie with Turkmen and Arabs for power. They are eager to facilitate a means of entering the city and retaking control from the Peshmerga troops and the KRG. That deal was for US$1.2 billion in pre-financed crude oil exports, according to Reuters.

This is not far-fetched prospective reality.

After the show of hands, lawmakers stood to sing the Kurdish anthem while others raised flags to the sound of applause. Likewise, Turkish investors have been heavily involved in northern Iraqi projects to ship natural gas to Europe via Turkey.

People close to Manafort have suggested that his involvement in the Kurdish referendum could be related to the mounting financial pressure of paying for his legal defense, The Times said.

Kurds of Iraq and Turkey and even some of Iran's Kurds have for sometime wanted an independent Kurdish state.

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