Barzani: Kurdistan Independence an Issue Merely Between Erbil and Baghdad – The Kurdish president has also renewed a call on Ankara to release HDP Leader

Basnews English – 24/02/2017 – 18:18 – ERBIL — Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani has once again made it clear that the Kurdish independence is a matter of debate between Erbil and Baghdad, and it has nothing to do with the neighboring countries.

The Kurdish right to hold a referendum on self-determination is “a natural, God-given right to the people in Kurdistan,” said Barzani in an interview with the German Newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, reported by Kurdistan24.

The Kurdish president stressed out that Erbil and Baghdad are the main sides of the debate and not Tehran and Ankara. He further stated that a referendum on the Kurdish statehood is not against the principles of democracy and human rights.

“We do not need permission from anyone,” Barzani added.

Concerning the current situation in Iraq and Syria and the political map of the region, the Kurdistan Region president said the Iraq-Syria border is “nothing more than history”. “How can we speak of Iraq or Syria as states? The paradox is that many politicians know it, but do not acknowledge the realities of the region. They do not want to admit that the official boundaries are nothing more than history.”Barzani also questioned the statehood of Iraq, saying a strong central government in Iraq is over. “It is about self-determination,” he added.

In regards to the political tension in Turkey, Barzani renewed a call on Ankara to release the leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas as it may serve in the interest of the peace process.