MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHEC) of Iraqi Kurdistan on Monday approved September 25 as the date for the referendum on the region’s independence from Iraq. In June, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, announced his intention to hold an independence referendum in late September.
Shaways stressed that the Iraqi government failed to fulfill its financial obligations to Kurdistan, and added that the region's economic problems began in 2014.
"The Iraqi government has constitutional obligations to which it does not adhere, and it does not carry out payments, while the region pays taxes. Kurdistan has been prosperous and safe, it cannot be compared to other Iraqi regions, and now the situation is becoming worse and worse," Shaways said.
The Kurds are an ethnic minority group occupying also parts of Turkey, Iraq and Iran. They make up about 20 percent of the Iraqi population, and have been seeking self-governance for decades. In 2005, Iraq’s Constitution recognized Kurdistan as an autonomous region that was run by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Since then, Kurdistan’s authorities have repeatedly raised the issue of the region’s independence.