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Iraq: No talks until Kurds cancel referendum result

October 2, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Iraqi Parliament in session on 27 September 2017 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

The Iraqi government will not hold talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government until the latter cancels the results of the secession referendum, an MP for the ruling State of Law Coalition said.

“We cannot receive any delegation from the Kurdish Ministry of Transport to discuss lifting the air embargo until all the conditions, including the delivery of the security and financial files of border crossings, giving the federal government the right to sell the region’s oil and cancel the secession referendum results are completely fulfilled,” MP Nahla Al-Hababi said.

Al-Hababi pointed out that the Iraqi government is fulfilling the Parliament’s requests to control the borders and airports and hold accountable all employees who cooperated on the referendum.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said on Saturday that his government is committed to maintaining Iraq’s unity and that of all its people, including Kurds.

Read: Iran warns Kurds about independence referendum

“We reject all calls for division and separation and the disruption of Iraq’s unity and its people, and we affirm our pride in our Kurdish brothers,” he added.

Around 3.3 million residents of the Iraqi Kurdish region turned to the ballot boxes to vote for separation from Iraq on 25 September. News reports said that the turnout rate was 72 per cent.

Final results showed nearly 93 per cent in favour of independence, and 7.3 per cent against.

The referendum has stirred fears of a new regional conflict, with Baghdad putting pressure on Kurds to cancel their overwhelming vote for independence.