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    A flag of the autonomous Kurdistan region flies as Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take position to monitor the area from their front line post in Bashiqa, a town 13 kilometres north-east of Mosul (File)

    Iraqi Kurdistan Ready to Postpone Referendum Provided Certain Guarantees

    © AFP 2017/ AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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    The officials from Iraqi Kurdistan expressed their readiness to postpone the upcoming September 25 independence referendum if Iraq, US, UN comfirm a set of demanded guarantees.

    ERBIL (Sputnik) — Authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan are ready to postpone the independence vote scheduled for Monday if the region gets certain political guarantees from Baghdad, Washington and the United Nations, Kifah Sinjari, the media adviser to the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "In recent hours, Masoud Barzani, the regional leader, has again proposed to those who demand postponing the referendum to provide a set of guarantees… If these guarantees, taking into account the existing situation in Kurdistanare, are provided, then we will postpone the referendum and on September 25 we will celebrate the achievement of these guarantees," Sinjari said.

    The official added that the decision regarding the guarantees should be provided by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi, the incumbent US administration and by the United Nations.

    "The list of the demanded guarantees includes such issues as a consent to set another date for the referendum in the near future and respect for its results, the beginning of talks with the Iraqi side on delimitation of borders, the discussion of the issues related to water resources, as well as talks about the disputed territories, including Kirkuk, Sinjar and other lands," Barzani's adviser said.

    Iraqi Kurdistan has been a good neighbor for Iran and Turkey, and hopes that the two countries will treat it in the same good and respectful way after the independence referendum, Kifah Sinjari added.

    "The region of Kurdistan has been demonstrating its good-neighborliness both for the Turks and Iranians since 1991. No case of interference in the affairs of any of the two countries has been recorded, that is why I think that clear heads both in Iran alongside Turkey will take the initiative to pay respect to the new state," Sinjari said.

    The presidential adviser noted that Turkish companies have invested over $16 billion in the projects implemented on Iraqi Kurdistan's territory, adding that considerable sums of money had been invested by Iranian businessmen as well.

    In early June, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the region from Iraq on September 25. The move has already been widely criticized by Iraqi authorities as well as by a number of other countries, including Iran, Turkey and the United States.

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    Tags:
    independence referendum, Masoud Barzani, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran, Iraq, United States
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