UN Security Council warns against holding Kurd vote

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Girls hold a Kurdish flag and flash the sign of victory as they take part in a gathering to urge people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum in the town of Bahirka, north of Arbil.— AFP
Girls hold a Kurdish flag and flash the sign of victory as they take part in a gathering to urge people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum in the town of Bahirka, north of Arbil.- AFP

New York - Iraqi Kurds will vote on September 25 in the non-binding referendum.

By Wam, AFP

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Published: Fri 22 Sep 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 23 Sep 2017, 1:16 AM

The UN Security Council on Thursday warned that a referendum on independence by Iraq's Kurdistan region was potentially destabilising, adding its weight to international opposition to the vote.
In a unanimous statement, the 15-member council said the referendum planned for Monday could hinder efforts to help refugees return home and weaken the military campaign against the Daesh group.
The move heightened pressure on Iraqi Kurd leaders to call off the vote after Turkey, Iran and Iraq urged them to abandon the plan that is also opposed by the United States.
Council members "expressed concern over the potentially destabilizing impact of the Kurdistan regional government's plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week," said the statement. "The planned referendum is scheduled to be held while counter-Daesh operations - in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role - are ongoing," it added.
The council urged "dialogue and compromise" to address differences between the Iraqi government and the regional authorities.
Iraqi Kurds will vote on September 25 in the non-binding referendum on whether to declare independence in a region that has already been autonomous since the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.
The United States has warned it may not be able to help Iraq's Kurds negotiate a better deal with the Iraqi government if they go ahead with an independence vote.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged the Iraqi Kurds to scrap the referendum and offered United Nations help to negotiate a new political deal between Baghdad and the Kurds. United Nations envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis, told Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani last week that the United Nations was ready to broker negotiations between the Kurds and Baghdad, according to a document obtained by AFP. The negotiations would aim to reach a deal within two or three years on the "principles and arrangements" for future relations between Baghdad and the Kurdish region, the document said.

Arab Parliament calls for postponing referendum

Dr Mishaal Al Salami, Speaker of the Arab Parliament, has called on Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, to postpone referendum on the Kurdish region independence in view of the current regional and international situation.
Al Salami called for joining the dialogue table to reach a compromise that would guarantee the rights of all parties and maintain the unity and stability of Iraq.  He said that the Arab Parliament is keen on protecting the rights of all components of the Iraqi people, without distinction, expressing his appreciation for Barzani's strenuous efforts which, he said, contributed to defeating the terrorist Daesh group.
He commended Barzani's efforts to help displaced Iraqis who went to the Kurdistan as Daesh occupied their cities.
 
 



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