Kurdish official: There is no ideal time for independence referendum


Hemin Hawrami. File photo

ARA News

Hemin Hawrami, senior assistant to Kurdish president Masoud Barzani, said on Tuesday that there will never be an ideal timing for planning an independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, in a response to Western countries that say it’s not the right time for an independence referendum that is scheduled for 25th of September this year.

“For those who say that it is not good timing for referendum, they don’t say when is good timing. There is no ideal timing,” Hawrami said.

“None of the regional and international community players stated that they are against the natural right of self determination for Kurdistan. The time has changed, Kurds are no longer an easy factor or player to be wiped off or ignored. The era of Post-World War I is over,” he stated.

On June 8, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said it’s not the right timing for a referendum.

“We understand and appreciate the legitimate aspirations of the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. We have expressed our concerns to the authorities in the Kurdistan region that holding a referendum, even a nonbinding resolution at this time, will distract from urgent priorities – and that would be the defeat of ISIS, the stabilization, the return of displaced people, managing of the region’s economic crisis, and resolving the region’s internal political disputes,” she said.

Also, the United Kingdom’s foreign secretary has said now is not the time for the region to hold a referendum on independence.

“We understand the aspirations of the Kurdish people and continue to support them politically, culturally and economically within Iraq,” British FM Boris Johnson announced in a statement.

“But a referendum at this time will distract from the more urgent priorities of defeating Daesh, stabilising liberated areas and addressing the long-term political issues that led to Daesh’s rise.”

However, the senior Kurdish official said they expected such reactions. “There is no recognition before declaration. We expected such reactions. We continue our way, no return in Referendum and recognition [will come] afterwards,” Hawrami said in a series of tweets.

“The Kurdistan Referendum has nothing to do with our firm commitment to our joint operations against ISIS. An independent Kurdistan is stronger ally,”  said.

“An independent Kurdistan is a win-win for the regional countries as well,. Counter terrorism, energy security, regional balance is crucial. The Regional countries should change their security prism toward Kurdistan. We have been and will be an asset not a threat to other countries,” he said in a message to Iran and Turkey.

Moreover, the senior Kurdish official said that Baghdad have failed to share power, implement the Iraqi constitution.

“Kurdistan proved that we have been contributing to the regional peace and security. We have been providers of security not consumers! Why the international community was not saying anything to the Iraq Government when they failed to implement article 140 for ten years?,” he said.

“The international community now, knows better Kurdistan potential to contribute to regional and international peace and security is. Kurdistan independence has never been a dream. It has been always our strategy,” Hawrami said.

Moreover, the official said that Iraq is a failed state. “The Arab part of Iraq, is it united?? Where is power sharing, federalism laws there?? In Baghdad, there are multiple centers of powers, divided Shiite alliance. We will discuss our referendum with all,” he said.

“We have and will discuss in details our people’s decision with Baghdad and other capitals, however the most important thing is our people decision,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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