Baghdad Refuses Talks with Kurdistan about Independence Referendum Results
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Baghdad government will not hold talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) about the results of the “unconstitutional” referendum on independence held on Monday in northern Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said.
“We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum because it is unconstitutional,” Abadi said in a speech broadcast on state TV on Monday night, Reuters reported.
Masoud Barzani, the president of the KRG, said the referendum is not binding and was meant to be a legitimate mandate to negotiate with Baghdad and neighboring countries over the secession of the Kurdish-controlled region from Iraq.
Final results should be announced in 72 hours.
Meanwhile, reactions continue to pour in over the independence referendum in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, which was held in defiance of widespread calls for its cancellation.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Barzani that pushing for independence risked sparking an “ethnic war in the region.
“If Barzani and the Kurdish Regional Government do not go back on this mistake as soon as possible, they will go down in history with the shame of having dragged the region into an ethnic and sectarian war,” Erdogan said in a televised speech.
He also emphasized that all options, from economic to air and land military measures, were on the table in response to the Kurdish vote.
“This referendum decision, which has been taken without any consultation, is treachery,” Erdogan said.
Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also expressed regret on Tuesday that the plebiscite had been held even as the Daesh terrorist campaign had yet to be fully taken care of in the Arab country.
Larijani said the Islamic Republic had earlier warned Kurdish authorities that the vote would “create new tensions within Iraq as the issue of terrorism has not yet been resolved.”