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President Barzani asks Parliament to begin work on referendum

Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani visited the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament yesterday, requesting the Parliament to immediately undertake the task of creating an independent electoral commission for the Region, and to begin preparations for holding a referendum for the people of Kurdistan to decide their future.

In his remarks to the Parliament, the President urged Members of Parliament to “promptly create an independent electoral commission and to begin preparations for holding a referendum to determine the future, as this would strengthen our hand. The time has come for us to determine our future; we should no longer wait for others to determine our future. In the meantime, we will do whatever we can to help Shia and Sunnis to save the country from this crisis.”

The President stated that the wrong policies of the Iraqi government and the collapse of the Iraqi Army have caused the current security crisis in the governorates of Anbar, Ninewa, Salahaddin, and Diyala. He said that four days prior to the events in Mosul the KRG offered to cooperate with Baghdad to confront the terrorist groups, but this was rejected by Baghdad.

Regarding the deployment of Peshmerga forces to the disputed areas, the President said that all of these areas are now under the control of Peshmerga forces. He added, “The Peshmerga forces are there to protect the people of those areas and they will not be pressured into withdrawing. We will protect these areas and we are also ready to help both Shia and Sunnis to save them from this crisis, but this can only be achieved with new people who believe in co-existence, democracy, and the Constitution. This cannot be done with people who have destroyed the country.”