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Kurdistan Democratic Party MP: No Force can Cancel the Referendum

Kurdistan Democratic Party MP: No Force can Cancel the Referendum

Sunday, 26 November, 2017 - 09:45
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The right to self-determination is a fundamental principle of the United Nations and Iraqi federal government, that signed UN Charter, should respect this principle guaranteed by all international laws, said Kurdistan Democratic Party official.

MP Farsat Sofi of Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the region had already clearly announced that the referendum does not mean immediate separation from Iraq, and stressed the need for political negotiations with Baghdad.

"Everyone remembers how people of Kosovo conducted a similar referendum in 1991, but they only exercised their right to decide their fate in 2008," Sofi stated.

The MP confirmed that Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) decided to freeze the results of the referendum due to current circumstances and the harsh reactions towards it. He did however stress that this does not mean the referendum is cancelled because it is not possible.

"There is no force in the world that can cancel the will of the three million people who voted for independence," Sofi added.

When asked about the regional government's recent decision to welcome Federal Court's ruling on the referendum, Sofi said that KRG is under enormous pressure from the Iraqi side which imposed harsh sanctions on Kurdish people.

The MP declared that taking into account the interest of its people, the Kurdish government repeatedly called for political negotiations to solve the problem, adding that this government is well aware that it can not eliminate the will of its people to satisfy the other side.

"The people who voted for independence are the ones to decide to cancel it through another referendum, which is not currently possible. Because of that, neither the Federal Court nor any other has the power to cancel on behalf of the people of Kurdistan," Sofi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

MP Sofi pointed that the federal government must respect the decision of the Federal Court, which decided to cancel all issues resulting from the referendum under its last decision. He explained that this includes cancellation of all arbitrary measures imposed by the government on Kurdistan whether it was closing the airports, or handing over of crossings and oil resources.

He called upon the government to immediately end this policy of "starving the Kurdish people".

"Health and education services are deteriorating, including other sanctions. Add to that the suffering of the employees who are the biggest part of the society especially that salaries are reduced and are not being paid," according to Sofi.

Asharq Al-Awsat asked Sofi about a solution for this crisis, and he indicated that there no other choice than entering political negotiations to resolve all the problems.

Sofi noted that the federal government banned ministers and international officials from visiting the Kurdistan region, adding that there is a serious escalation in the crisis, especially concerning the salaries and budget and displacement of civilians in disputed areas.

"Unfortunately, the federal government is working towards escalating the situation, although it is well aware that these actions will not undermine the will of our people to determine their fate," Sofi said.

The Kurdish MP concluded saying: "We will wait for the federal government to review its hostile policies towards the region. Previous regimes tried such measures and sanctions, and gained nothing from them. Its statement of good faith and response to the region's initiatives should accelerate the lifting of these sanctions and accept serious and constructive negotiations to solve all unresolved issues."

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