ERBIL — Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani reiterated that Erbil is open to an alternative for its planned independence referendum if it could meet Kurdistan Region’s demands, but such a proposal is yet to be put forward.
During a massive rally in Sulaymaniyah where thousands of people gathered to voice their support to independence, Barzani said that holding the referendum is not “the end of the world”, and that Kurds must not be prevented from having their voice on their destination.
The Kurdish president pointed out that Kurdistan’s political leadership is committed to hold constructive dialogues with Baghdad after the referendum, to find a solution to their prolonged disputes. “Then we will say goodbye; we have been asking you for more than 100 years to be brothers and partners but you did not accept. Now we can be [friendly] neighbours and brothers for each other,” he said.
“We made a grave mistake in 2003 when we returned to Baghdad… we actually rejoined them with a good will in hopes of establishing a democratic and federal Iraq.”
The Kurdish president criticised the political leadership in Baghdad for proceeding with the same political culture and policies of their predecessors. “Only faces changed in Baghdad,” he emphasised.
Barzani welcomed the difference in political views among various political factions, but warned to maintain unity so as to serve the people and block efforts by others who wish to stab Kurdistan in the back.