Breaking: KRG freezes outcome of independence referendum to begin dialogue

KRG's parliament in Erbil has been shut down by KDP since 2015

ERBIL, Kurdistan (Rudaw) – The Kurdistan Regional Government has suspended the results of the Kurdish independence referendum to give open dialogue a chance with Baghdad on the outstanding issues between the two governments on the basis of the Iraqi constitution.

A statement published by the Kurdish government Wednesday morning read that they do not want war and bloodshed to continue between the Kurdish and Iraqi forces. They have therefore decided to “freeze the outcome of the referendum that was held in Iraqi Kurdistan.”

It also said that they will immediately announce a ceasefire and stop every military operation in the Kurdistan Region.

The statement continued to say that they are ready to “begin an open dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government on the basis of the Iraqi constitution.”

The Kurdistan Region held a referendum on September 25 when 92.7 percent of ballots cast indicated a ‘Yes’ vote on independence from Iraq. Since that time, the federal government has taken punitive measures and taken control of oil-rich disputed or Kurdistani areas claimed by Erbil and Baghdad.

Translation of the full text of the statement

The dangerous situation and tension that faces Iraq and Kurdistan forces all of us to live up to the historical responsibility and to not allow the situation to lead to further war and confrontation between the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga.

The aggression and the confrontation between the Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga since October 16, 2017 has caused damage to both sides. It may also result in continued bloodshed and result in cutting the social relations between the Iraqi components.

It is a fact that a war between the two sides will not have a winner. It will instead lead both sides to great damages in all aspects of life. That is why, from the perspective of our responsibility towards the people of Kurdistan and Iraq, we propose the following to the government of Iraq, the Iraqi public opinion, and to the world:

The immediate cessation of fighting and every kind of military operations in the Kurdistan Region.

Freezing the outcome of the referendum that was held in the Iraqi Kurdistan.

Beginning an open dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government on the basis of the Iraqi constitution.

Kurdistan Regional Government

UA-57178893-1