Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.21
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq is determined to hold a referendum on its status, Turkish Hurriyet newspaper quoted KRG head Massoud Barzani as saying on Nov.21.
Barzani said that the activities on holding the referendum are underway and KRG's independence is a matter of time.
Following the capture of several Iraqi provinces by the 'Islamic State' militants, relations between Baghdad and Arbil have markedly deteriorated. Barzani accused the Iraqi government of being guilty in the developments taking place in the country.
Barzani said on July 7 that Iraq is on the verge of a split, and the central government headed by the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is not controlling the situation.
He added that sooner or later KRG will declare its independence, as it is the Kurds' right in Iraq, but at the same time they will not make claims for other lands in the region.
Earlier, Barzani also said the KRG is ready to hold a referendum on the status of the city of Kirkuk.
He said that at the moment Kirkuk's status is under dispute, and, according to Iraqi law, a referendum on the city's status should have been held in 2007.
Kirkuk is a disputed territory between KRG and the central government of Iraq. The referendum was never held for political reasons.
"Kirkuk is a historic city, which has faced much suffering. We promise that the future of Kirkuk will be lighter thanks to the Peshmerga [special forces subordinate to the KRG]," Barzani said.
Turkish authorities urged Arbil in July of 2014 no to not rush to a referendum to change the status of KRG. The statement was made by then Turkish Prime Minister, the current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the visit of Barzani to the country.
Edited by SI
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