Kurdistan independence referendum ‘won’t take long’: Barzani

23-7-2014 – KT – News – President Barzani has indicated that it should not take long for the Kurdistan region to hold a referendum on independence. In an interview yesterday with Martine Dennis of Al Jazeera he said: “I can’t say exactly when. Parliament has done a lot by forming an independent commission. I don’t think it would take long”

“Are the wheels now in motion for a fully independent Kurdistan?” asked Dennis.  Barzani replied: “Kurdish independence is not a new topic. Self-determination is the natural right of every nation and country. The Kurdish nation has this right like every other nation in the world. This process has now begun; it is now with the regional parliament and it is proceeding.”

As a sign of the region’s growing self-suficiency, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Finance Minster Rebaz Muhammet announced that the KRG will keep 100% of proceeds from its oil exports through Turkey, rather than share them with the Iraq central government, due to Baghdad’s continuing cuts in the KRG’s budget. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Muhammet said: “We are also planning to cover the war compensation to Kuwait from these earnings and we informed the Iraqi government”. He said 1.4 million people receive state salaries in the Kurdistan region and the oil revenues are needed for this. “In order to cover these wages, we need $1 billion, however, the Iraqi government is not paying our portion.”