Iraq's Kurdistan 'will respect' court decision banning secession

Lester Mason
November 14, 2017

The reversal of the bank restrictions signals a step towards de-escalating a conflict between Baghdad and the Kurdish region that erupted after the Kurds held a referendum on independence in September.

Authorities in Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq, have said they will respect the federal court's decision prohibiting the region from seceding.

In spite of an overwhelming "yes" vote, the referendum is not legally binding.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Kurdish regional government says "we respect" the November 6 decision by the Supreme Federal Court, an indication they may be willing to back down in the standoff with Baghdad. As Kurdish authorities and those in Baghdad continued to spar over the push for independence, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani stepped down.

"The success of security forces should be supported by solving the ongoing problems between the central government and the KRG, and constructive dialogue needs to be initiated to maintain the national gains", Masoum said.

Iraq deemed the referendum unconstitutional and warned there would be consequences.

Those measures included an October offensive by Iraqi government forces, backed by Shia militia, to take the oil-producing city of Kirkuk from the KRG.

Immediately after the September 25 independence referendum, Baghdad asked all countries to stop flight operation to the two global airports in the region:Erbil and Sulaymaniah.

The referendum was also opposed by Turkey and Iran, who urged Kurdish officials to call it off.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoub in a press conference in Baghdad said foreign diplomatic missions will not be closed in the Kurdistan Region.

He said Washington would not take sides, but added that "we don't like the fact that they're clashing".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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