Iraqi PM Rejects Erbil’s Offer to Freeze Referendum Results

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraq’s prime minister on Thursday dismissed a proposal by the country’s autonomous Kurdish region to freeze the referendum results, calling for annulling the results.

Iraqi PM Rejects Erbil’s Offer to Freeze Referendum Results

Haider al-Abadi said the central government "will accept only the cancelling of the referendum and following the constitution," a written statement released by his office said.

Iraq neighbors have also reacted to Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s offer, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu calling on Erbil to go a step further and cancel the outcome of the vote.

“The decision by the northern authority in Iraq is important, but not enough. They have to cancel the results,” Cavusoglu said on Thursday.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders on Wednesday offered to freeze the referendum which was called illegal by the Iraqi federal government and was opposed by the world.

The KRG’s referendum, held on September 25, resulted in tensions among the major Kurdish parties including the Erbil-based ruling KDP and its rival, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Sulaymaniyah.

Following the referendum, the Iraqi government imposed a blockade against the Kurdish region and the country’s army entered the disputed areas including the oil-rich Kirkuk to restore federal government sovereignty over disputed lands claimed by Kurds.

Iraq’s neighbors including Iran and Turkey called the Erbil referendum destabilizing and cut their ties with the KRG.

The international community including the UN Security Council, the US and many other countries who are supportive of the Kurdish autonomous region declared their opposition to the KRG move.

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