ERBIL — The Referendum Committee delegation from Kurdistan Region held on Wednesday a range of meetings with Iraqi officials in Baghdad to discuss Erbil’s planned independence vote in September.
The delegation was first received by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri, who reportedly expressed parliament’s “neutral” position on the matter of Kurdistan’s independence referendum.
Speaking to Kurdistan24, an unnamed member of the Kurdistan delegation said Jabouri had stated that he would respect the demands of the people of Kurdistan Region.
“Parliament will not take any measures against the Kurdistan Region. Parliament should remain neutral,” the member stated, reporting Jabouri’s comments.
Later the day, the Kurdistan delegation met with Hadi al-Amri, Head of the Shi’ite Arab militia groups of hashd al-Shaabi and commander of Badr Brigade. He ensured following the meeting that military confrontations between his forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga is “impossible”.
“The Peshmerga serves the people. The Kurdish people and our brothers in the Kurdistan Region are part of the people in Iraq, and they will not separate from each other. It is therefore impossible to raise weapons against the Peshmerga forces,” Amri told reporters.
The delegation later met with former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, continuing discussions around Erbil-Baghdad disputes and the independence vote in Kurdistan Region.
According to Kurdistan24, Maliki has insisted on continued peaceful dialogues between Erbil and Baghdad in hopes of finding common ground to settle down prolonged disputes.
He, however, reiterated that he supports any steps that “is compliant with the Constitution of Iraq,” and called on parties to consult the constitution before making any decisions regarding independence.
The delegation from Kurdistan Region is said to continue meetings with other influential Iraqi leaders and diplomatic envoys in the country, hoping to deliver Erbil’s message on its peaceful plan to hold referendum.