Many Obstacles to Kurdistan Independence Referendum

Ismail added, “The Kurdish delegations tried to reassure both Turkey and Iran that independence would not pose a threat to their interests and would not affect the Kurdish minorities. Moving forward, we will seek to have the blessing of other world powers."

But the PUK, led by former President Jalal Talabani, believes there is a 12-point road map that needs to be applied. The road map is mainly related to the “relations between the political parties in Kurdistan, especially the PUK and the KDP and between PUK and the Movement for Change. The items also require finding a solution to outstanding problems between Kurdistan and Baghdad and preparing for any scenarios that may roll out following the Islamic State phase.”

PUK member Farhad Kader told Al-Monitor, “The party supports the referendum, the necessity to solve the problems plaguing Kurdistan and the need to reactivate the paralyzed parliament, which must approve the results of the referendum according to the road map announced by the party a few weeks ago.”

Kader said that his party is in the process of “activating a prior agreement with the Movement for Change and the central government in Baghdad about the domestic problems in Kurdistan.” He added, “What concerns us is the position of Baghdad, which must accept the constitutional and legal right of Kurdistan to hold the referendum.”

In the meantime, the Iraqi central government headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is not yet ready to declare an open position on the Kurdish referendum project.

Parliamentarian for the Kurdistan Alliance Arafat Karam said May 25, “The Kurdistan government talked to Abadi and head of the Iraqi National Alliance Ammar al-Hakim about the matter — albeit unofficially — and the two promised they would find a solution to the outstanding problems and deal with them in a serious way and asked to postpone the referendum until further notice.”

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