USA state secretary calls for delay of Kurd region poll

They also held a meeting with President Masoud Barzani to discuss their agenda.

USA and other Western nations fear that the vote could create a new conflict with Baghdad and create regional unrests.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the request on Friday, during a phone call with the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, Reuters reported.

Although Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq have sizeable Kurdish populations, they are all against an independent Kurdistan.

“The date is standing, September 25, no change”, said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to KRG President Massoud Barzani.

Barzani، for his part، told Tillerson that the planned referendum was aimed at realizing the Kurdish region’s longstanding desire for regional coexistence.

“If the referendum is postponed, what kind of alternatives or guarantees are there for determining the future and fate of Kurdish people?”

According to the broadcaster, Tillerson and Barzani spoke by telephone on Thursday evening and discussed bilateral relations and the fight against terrorism among other issues.

“The US Secretary of State… also stated he would rather see the referendum in Kurdistan to be postponed, and he reiterated his support for dialogue and negotiation between the [Kurdistan] Region and Baghdad…” The Kurdish president declined, saying the USA administration has failed to provide guarantees or an “alternative” that would secure the future of Kurdistan.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani has been under pressure from the U.S.to postpone an independence referendum scheduled for next month, local sources said Saturday. However, the militants still control territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria.

“We have to rectify the history of mistreatment of our people and those who are saying that independence is not good, our question to them is: ‘if it’s not good for us, why is it good for you?'”, he said in an interview in the KRG capital, Erbil.

The ethnically-diverse city of Kirkuk remains the subject of dispute between northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Iraq’s central government in Baghdad.

Rudaw understands that the delegation has prepared a lengthy report that chronicled about 50 articles of the Iraqi constitution that Erbil says have been violated by Baghdad, mainly Article 140 that concerns the disputed or Kurdistani areas claimed by both governments, and the budget cut by Iraq since early 2014.