Barzani: Iraq’s chance of unity is gone and Kurds aren’t to blame

By Rudaw 1 hour ago – 10 August 2017 – “Our referendum does not mean war against any neighboring country. We seek good relations with them especially Turkey,

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Iraq has missed the only guarantee of keeping itself together and the country united by violating its own constitution and practicing a kind of policy that has estranged all ethnic and religious groups, including the Kurds, says Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani.

“The State of Iraq is divided in reality and the basis of partnership and constitution have ended,” said Barzani in interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper. “A sectarian war is going on and the state has no sovereignty and the Kurdistan Region is not responsible for what Iraq has come to.”“On the contrary, we consider the independence of Kurdistan a solution to the problems and turmoil. Iraq’s non-commitment to the constitution and wrong policies is what targeted the unity of Iraq.”

“The constitution was the sole guarantee for Iraq’s unity and with its violation the chance to preserve it is gone.”

Barzani said that the Kurds want to choose their own future through a referendum and avoid repeating the bitter experiences of the last century.

“The decision on referendum and going in the direction of independence is a peaceful process and far from violence and its ultimate goal is prevention of new disasters and wars,” Barzani said.

“We are not for war, but for brotherhood and friendship.”

The Kurdish president reassured Kurdistan’s neighbors that a Kurdish state won’t be a threat to them, but a force for good in the region.

“We have called for a referendum and detailed the causes that led to this step,” Barzani told the Arabic newspaper. “We don’t want to repeat the failed experience of the last hundred years with Iraq which was filled of tragedies. The neighboring countries must understand this and we’ve explained to them that we are a force for stability and security in the region.”“Our referendum does not mean war against any neighboring country. We seek good relations with them especially Turkey.”Barzani insisted that only the Kurdish people had the right to set the timing for a referendum and that suggestions that the current timing was not right were unreasonable.“As regards the timing of the referendum, the Kurdish leadership has made that decision and there is no turning back,” he said. “The referendum is a legitimate right of our people which must be implemented as soon as possible for the world to see the will of our people.”

“If some of them say the timing isn’t right, we shall ask them when is the right time? If we wait for others to choose the time it will never be. Only the people of Kurdistan can decide the timing.”