******** A Kurdish official is speaking for the first time about a possible postponement of the referendum

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******** A Kurdish official is speaking for the first time about a possible postponement of the referendum

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:11 am

شفق نيوز Twilight News

The Kurdistan Region may consider the possibility of postponing a referendum on independence scheduled for September 25 in return for financial and political concessions from the central government in Baghdad, a senior Kurdish official said.

Mullah Bakhtiar, head of the working party of the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said a Kurdish delegation to visit Baghdad for suggestions from Iraqi leaders might convince the Kurds to postpone the vote.

The United States and other Western countries fear the vote could trigger a new conflict with Baghdad and possibly neighboring countries and distract attention from the war against a pro-Western organization in Iraq and Syria.


US Secretary of State Rex Tilerson formally asked Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region ten days ago to postpone the referendum.

"As an alternative to delaying the referendum, Baghdad is ready to achieve anything for the (Kurdistan) region," Bakhtiar said in an interview on talks with the Shi'ite-led coalition in Baghdad.


He said in the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah that Baghdad should be ready to help the Kurds to overcome the financial crisis and the settlement of debts owed to their government, according to Reuters quoted.

The debt was estimated at between $ 10 billion and $ 12 billion, roughly equal to the annual budget of Kurdistan, debts owed to public contractors, government employees and Peshmerga fighters who had not been paid for months.

On the political front, he said Baghdad had to agree to settle the issue of disputed areas such as the oil-rich region of Kirkuk, home to Arabs and Turkmen.

He said that the Kurdish delegation will convey the proposals it will receive to the Kurdish political parties to decide on whether they are sufficient to justify postponement of the vote, stressing that the Kurds retain the right to vote at a later date if the postponement.

"We do not accept that we should postpone the referendum without an alternative and without specifying another time for the referendum or another time," he said.

Baghdad stopped funding payments from the Iraqi federal budget to the Kurdistan government in 2014 after the Kurds began to export oil independently through a pipeline to Turkey.

The Kurds say they needed extra revenue to deal with the increased costs incurred by the war on the influx and influx of large numbers of displaced people into Kurdistan.

Last month, the state of the "caliphate" declared by the organization collapsed when US-backed Iraqi forces successfully restored control of Mosul after a nine-month campaign involving Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

But the militant group still controls territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria.  The United States has vowed to continue its support for allied forces in the two countries until the Islamic state is completely defeated.


* Since the First World War

The Kurds have sought to establish an independent state since the end of the First World War at least when the colonial powers divided the Middle East to leave the land inhabited by the Kurds divided between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Turkey, Iran and Syria, together with large numbers of Kurds, oppose the independence of Kurdistan from Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's government rejected the planned referendum as unconstitutional.


Barzani told Reuters in July that the Kurds would be held responsible for the outcome of the expected referendum, which is to support independence and apply it through dialogue with Baghdad and regional powers to avoid conflict.


"We have to correct the history of mistreatment against our people and those who say independence is not good," he said in an interview in Erbil, capital of Kurdistan, Iraq. "If we do not have good independence, why would it be good for you?"

The majority of Shiites live in southern Iraq, while Kurds and Sunni Arabs live north and live in the center of the country around the capital Baghdad, a mix of races and sects.

Officials say Cord said the referendum will also take place in disputed areas including oil-rich Kirkuk to determine whether it wants to remain within Kurdistan.

The Kurdish Peshmerga forces banned the capture of Kirkuk in northern Iraq in 2014 after the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of militant advance. The Peshmerga forces now run Kirkuk and both Turkmen and Arabs say they also have rights in the city.

Iraqi-backed Shi'ite Islamist groups have threatened to forcibly expel the Kurds from the area and three other disputed areas - Sinjar, Makhmur and Khanqin.


http://www.shafaaq.com/ar/Ar_NewsReader/3bc29b1b-7bca-4fd6-bc04-7cdf95985d9e

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Re: ******** A Kurdish official is speaking for the first time about a possible postponement of the referendum

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:30 am

Erbil is considering postponing the referendum in exchange for concessions from Baghdad



Baghdad - Journal News
Kurdish official revealed that the Kurdistan region of Iraq is considering the possibility of postponing the referendum on independence scheduled for next month, in exchange for financial and political concessions made by the central government in Baghdad.

Mullah Bakhtiar, official of the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said a Kurdish delegation was visiting Baghdad to see suggestions from Iraqi leaders that might persuade the Kurds to postpone the referendum.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, led by former President Jalal Talabani, is the second largest Kurdish party after the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by the President of the region Massoud Barzani.

Bakhtiar said in an interview with the Reuters news agency in the city of Sulaymaniyah that Baghdad is ready to achieve anything for the Kurdistan region as an alternative to postpone the referendum, keeping Baghdad ready to help the Kurds to overcome the financial crisis and settle debts owed by their government.

The debts are estimated to be about $ 10-12 billion, roughly the annual budget of Kurdistan. Their debts are owed to public contractors, government officials and Peshmerga fighters who have not paid their salaries for months because of the government's oil policy without reference to Baghdad.

Baghdad stopped payments of funding from the Iraqi federal budget for Kurdistan in 2014 after the region began to export oil independently via a pipeline to Turkey, although the region was getting 17 percent of Iraq's annual budget, which depends on the export of oil from the southern fields mainly.

Politically, Bakhtiar believes that Baghdad must commit to agreeing to settle the issue of disputed areas, such as the oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk, home to Arabs and Turkmen.

He pointed out that the Kurdish delegation will convey the proposals it will receive to the Kurdish political parties, led by Barzani and Talabani parties, to decide on whether they are sufficient to justify the postponement of the vote.

He stressed that Kurds retain the right to vote at a later date if the postponement is delayed.
International powers, led by Washington, have expressed fears that the referendum could ignite a new conflict with Baghdad and possibly neighboring countries, notably Turkey, and distract attention from the war against a "da'ash" organization in Iraq and Syria.

http://www.aljournal.com/اربيل-تدرس-تأجيل-الاستفتاء-مقابل-تناز/

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