Freedom - What a Concept
(Reuters) - Iraq's Kurds will go ahead with a referendum on independence on Monday because their partnership with Baghdad has failed, Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani said on Sunday, shrugging off international opposition to the vote.
In response, the Iraqi government asked the autonomous Kurdish region to hand over control of its international border posts, its international airports and called on foreign countries to stop importing Kurdish crude oil.
It asked "the neighboring countries and the countries of the world to deal exclusively with the federal government of Iraq in regards to entry posts and oil," according to a statement from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office.
The United States and other Western powers have urged Kurdish authorities in the oil producing region to cancel the vote, arguing that it distracts from the fight against Islamic State.
Turkey and Iran have also kept up the pressure to stop the vote, with presidents Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani speaking by phone and expressing concern that it will "bring chaos in the region", according to Erdogan's office.
Barzani, at a news conference at his headquarters near Erbil, dismissed the worries of Iraq's neighbors, committing to respect laws on international boundaries and not seek to redraw the region's borders.
"We will never go back to the failed partnership" with Baghdad, he said, adding Iraq had become a "theocratic, sectarian state" and not the democratic one that was supposed to be built after the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
The vote, expected to result in a comfortable "yes" to independence, is not binding and is meant to give the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) a mandate to negotiate secession with Baghdad and the neighboring countries.
Barzani said Iraq's Kurds would seek talks with the Shi'ite-led central government to implement the expected "yes" outcome, even if they take two years or more, to settle land and oil sharing disputes ahead of independence.Read More . . . .
|"Syria" and "Iraq" Never Existed|
To Start With
Most of the Middle East "nations" we are trying to "save" were artificially created out of thin air by European Imperialist powers before and after World War One. Countries like Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Kuwait had never existed before the West marched in to divide, conquer and set up their colonies.
See our article:
The Artificially Created Nations of the Middle East May Vanish at Last