"We welcome the statement made by Masoud Barzani, the leader of Iraqi Kurdistan, with regard to holding the referendum. The Kurds have a right to achieve independence. They cannot wait for this day to come. The exact date when the referendum is expected to be held remains unknown at this point. We are currently in the process of preparing [for the vote]. However, President Barzani emphasized that it will take place in the near future," Said Mamuziny said.
In an interview with Sputnik, Tarik Gerdi, Deputy Chairman of Kurdistan Democratic Party's faction in the Iraqi parliament, confirmed that Iraqi Kurds were getting ready for the referendum. He said that he could not provide any details on the matter since he resided in Baghdad.
On Thursday, Masoud Barzani told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Iraqi Kurdistan will hold a vote to determine its future at the earliest date. Guterres is currently on a visit to Iraq.
Mamuziny also noted that other ethnic groups living in Iraqi Kurdistan are on board with the Kurds in their aspirations.
"Arabs, Turkmen and other groups living in Iraqi Kurdistan have also thrown their support behind the idea of an independent Kurdistan since it has protected their rights. There is no rift between the Kurds and other ethnic groups. They enjoy the same rights as the Kurds. All of their universal and cultural rights are under protection," he said.
"The Kurds are confident in their powers. They are determined to declare independence. Some will recognize it, others will not. We want to foster working relations with neighboring countries after we declare independence. We aspire to get along with, live in peace and quiet with Turkey, Iran and other countries," he said.
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