MESOP : CONTRA PKK – PUK-Gorran Joint Leadership Shows Support for Independence Referendum – THE KIRKUK QUESTION

SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) – The parties stated that the independence referendum should be held “at the right time”

SULAYMANIYAH — A joint leadership between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran (Change Movement) was held Tuesday, June 14th, in which the parties revealed their views on the Kurdish independence referendum and some other issues in Kurdistan Region. According to a joint statement released following the meeting, PUK and Gorran emphasized the right of Kurds for self determination, referendum and independence. They stated that preparations should be undertaken to hold an independence referendum “at the right time.”

Concerning the future of Kirkuk, the joint leadership’s statement stressed out that the province, with its specific characteristics, is an “integral part” of Kurdistan, and “any effort to establish an autonomous region in Kirkuk is rejected.” The two parties also discussed about the crisis faced by Kurdistan Region, and pointed out that Kurdish unity should be preserved and government administrations should be “institutionalized based on real partnership and political consensus.” Today’s meeting between PUK and Gorran is the first after the parties signed an agreement on May 17th to unify their political positions in the face of the regional crisis and the political developments.