MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Barzani, the Iraqi parliament’s decision last September to remove former finance minister Hoshyar Zebari from office over allegations of corruption was part of Maliki's plan to return to leadership and to weaken Prime Minister Haider Abadi.
"I will announce the independence of Kurdistan the minute in which Maliki becomes a prime minister, I will not refer to anyone and let whatever needs to happen, happen… I will not remain in an Iraq ruled by Maliki," Barzani told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
The Iraqi general elections are due to be held in 2018.
The Kurds are Syria’s, Iraq’s and Turkey’s largest ethnic minority. The ethnic group is striving to create their own independent state. Kurdistan in Iraq was created in 1970 based on an agreement with the Iraqi government, ending years of fighting. It gained autonomous governance status as part of the 2005 constitution, but is still considered part of Iraq.