nsnbc : Britain’s All-Party Parliamentary Group congratulated the Kurdistan Autonomous Region of Iraq with the outcome of Monday’s independence referendum.

Congratulations were conveyed in a statement by Jack Lopresti MP, Chairman All Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan Region, and Director Gary Kent. In their statement, the British MP’s note that the 93 percent “Yes” vote and the high turnout in the referendum demonstrates the settled will of the Kurdistani people for eventual independence.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group also noted that the high vote follows “years of broken promises by leaders in Baghdad who have done little to persuade the Kurds” or to show them that they are respected and valued. The group also states that the outbreak, in Baghdad, of belligerent bullying and a probable blockade is further evidence of that.

On Wednesday the federal parliament in Baghdad and the federal government responded to Monday’s referendum by a number of measures including the demand to shutter airports in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region (KAR), the demand that foreign nations withdraw their missions from Erbil, the deployment of Iraqi troops to disputed areas, and more.

British Foreign Secretary and former mayor of London Boris Johnson at a teashop in Erbil in January 2015. Photo: Official   - Boris Johnson in Erbil Kurdistan in 2015 Iraq UK 300x187 - British parliamentary group congratulates Kurdistan

British Foreign Secretary and former mayor of London Boris Johnson at a teashop in Erbil in January 2015. Photo: Official

Kurdistani leaders of all persuasions have told us they will not be subordinates in Iraq and that the referendum is a mandate to negotiate a new settlement with Baghdad over years rather than UDI, and does not diminish their contribution to fighting Daesh, read the parliamentary group’s statement. We agree with the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that all parties should remain calm and we welcome his statement that the UK is ready to help, they added.

The MPs also stated that they would report back their observations on the process of the referendum, which they witnessed in Erbil, Kirkuk and Sulaimani, and its ramifications to parliament with a view to encouraging bipartisan support for dialogue. We also aim to visit Baghdad to listen to their views and convey our understanding of Kurdistani concerns, read their statement. The group added “We are anxious to maintain the UK’s good relations with Kurdistan which is a valued ally and shares our values of freedom, democracy and pluralism”.

It may be worth noting that Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani declared a victory for the “Yes” campaign with the above mentioned 93 percent. However, nsnbc international has contacted the Kurdistan Region’s High Election and Referendum Commission and has not yet received any official and detailed results. Of special interest is the breakdown of voter turnout and percentage of yes or no votes according to cities and regions, including the disputed Kirkuk.

CH/L – nsnbc 28.09.2017



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