human rights watch

fredag 14 juli 2017

U.S. against Iraqi Kurds holding referendum in September, McGurk Says

U.S. against Iraqi Kurds holding referendum in September, McGurk Says.

WASHINGTON,— A referendum on independence in Iraq’s semi-autonomous and oil-rich Kurdistan region should not take place in September as planned because it would be destabilizing at time when the fight against Islamic State isn’t yet won, the U.S. envoy to the coalition confronting the extremist group said.
“Having a referendum on such a fast timeline, particularly in disputed areas, would be, we think, significantly destabilizing and we’ve made those views very clear,” said Brett McGurk, who spoke to Iraqi and Kurdish leaders about the issue in Baghdad last week.
He said that Islamic State, which was driven out of Mosul this week, still occupies several areas in Iraq, and the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga militia fighters continue to be involved in operations against the group. “We do not think the referendum should happen in September,” McGurk said at a news conference in Washington on Thursday.
The Kurdistan Region’s political parties, not including the second biggest party of Change (Gorran) Movement and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), came to an agreement on June 7 to hold a referendum on the region’s independence on September 25, 2017.
The decision was slammed by IraqUSUKEURussiaGermanyTurkey and Iran.
Officials from Gorran, the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), Kurdistan Islamic Union KIU and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK said the referendum should be postponed and referendum needs the reactivation of Iraq’s Kurdistan Parliament without preconditions.
KDP party leader Massoud Barzani has closed the Kurdish parliament in October 2015 after his term as president of Kurdistan has expired in August 2015. Barzani refused to step down and remains unofficially in office. According to the law, Barzani cannot run for presidency anymore.
He prevented parliament speaker from entering the Kurdish capital and sacked four Gorran ministers and replaced them with his own KDP party officials.
Read more about Independent Kurdistan state
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