Addressing journalists, writers, and artists in Erbil, Barzani stated the Kurdistan Region insisted on holding the independence referendum at the scheduled timeline.
“The Sep. 25 referendum is for declaring independence, but other steps toward statehood need work,” he said. “If possible, we will declare independence before Newroz [the Kurdish New Year].”
Barzani also noted the leadership and political parties in Kurdistan would continue negotiations with Baghdad.
“After 2003, Kurds agreed to remain a part of Iraq on the basis of partnership, but the promise has been violated dozens of times,” Barzani stated.
According to Kurdistan 24 he admitted the Kurds’ agreement to join the new Iraq following the removal of the former Iraqi dictatorship in 2003 was a mistake.
“Whether we like it or not, there is a sectarian government currently ruling Baghdad,” Barzani said. “Democracy and federalism do not exist in Iraq anymore.”
He hailed the Kirkuk Provincial Council’s decision to join the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum, assuring the components in the city their rights would be guaranteed.
“Kirkuk shall be the city of coexistence between the Kurds, Arabs, Kurds, and Christians,” Barzani concluded.
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