Iraqi Parl’t Demanding to Clarify ‘Freeze’ on Kurdistan Independence Vote
AFP 2017/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYEMiddle East22:08 25.10.2017Get short URL337151
Iraqi lawmaker Abbas Bayati has commented on a possible dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil amid reported proposal voiced the Kurdish side to “freeze” the result of the referendum that had taken place last month.
BAGHDAD (Sputnik) — The Iraqi parliament is demanding to give a clear definition of a “freeze” on the results of Kurdish independence referendum, proposed earlier by Iraqi Kurdistan’s government, Abbas Bayati, an Iraqi lawmaker and State of Law Coalition member, told Sputnik.
According to the lawmaker, the Iraqi parliament had not received any official proposals from the regional authorities yet, adding that he himself had learned about the initiative from media reports.
“Out of three points two require clarification – the issue of freezing results of the referendum is uncertain and unclear for us. What does the freeze mean? Is it a complete renunciation of the referendum, or does it mean that after a certain period of time they will go back to the issue, if they want to? We believe that the referendum is over, it is in the past,” Bayati said.
The second issue, which raised concerns of the parliament members, was, in his opinion, the issue of military actions.
“We are not conducting a military operation, a war or a battle, it is relocation [of forces]. Relocation should be completed in all the regions beyond the red line of March 2003 – in all regions which used to be under the control of the federal government forces in 2003,” Bayati said.
The lawmaker predicted that the parliament was unlikely to discuss the issue on Monday, explaining that its work was suspended and that the government should discuss it first. Bayati noted that the autonomous region had begun to take “serious steps,” adding, however, that this initiative was not enough.
Earlier in the day, the Kurdistan Regional Government offered the central country’s government to cease fire, and to start a bilateral dialogue, expressing readiness to “freeze” the results of the independence referendum.
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Following the independence vote, Baghdad launched a military operation in the oil-rich Kirkuk province, disputed by both the central government and Iraq Kurdistan and de facto controlled by Kurdistan’s Peshmerga military forces.
Within a day of the operation, the Iraqi forces gained control of most of Kirkuk, including oil fields and the administration building and have continued the operation, which has resulted in clashes with Peshmerga forces. In its turn, Erbil has demanded the Iraqi troops’ “immediate” withdrawal.