World Bulletin / News Desk
Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani on Tuesday said his administration did not wish to create obstacles for neighboring countries after Monday’s illegitimate referendum in northern Iraq.
Along with Iraq’s central government, Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have spoken out against the illegitimate referendum, saying it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.
In his first televised statement after the vote -- parts of which were also released on KRG Presidency’s official website, Barzani said the KRG had now entered "a new stage" following the majority of Yes votes in the illegitimate referendum.
He urged Baghdad to not close its doors to dialogue following the vote and “to seriously and calmly review the history of our bilateral relations”.
He said Erbil and Baghdad must now “resort to serious series of dialogues”.
He urged neighboring countries to help the two Iraqi sides in finding solutions.
“As for the other neighboring countries, the president stated that we do not wish for any obstacles to be created. It is rather expected of them to seriously find solutions to the issues between Erbil and Baghdad,” the statement on the website said.
“We also reassure the international community, the president stated, that we are immediately ready to engage in negotiations on independence with Baghdad.”
Barzani also highlighted his regional government's “willingness to continue to become an effective partner in the global effort to eradicate the terrorists”.
The KRG led by Barzani has enjoyed close ties to Ankara and had used a pipeline stretching from northern Iraq to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan to export oil.
However, Monday’s illegitimate referendum -- held in KRG-controlled areas across northern Iraq, including those disputed with Baghdad -- has threatened the relationship.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Tuesday the KRG-backed illegitimate referendum could result in large scale sanctions that will leave the northern Iraqi enclave helpless.
“You will be left in the middle anyway, from the moment we start implementing sanctions,” Erdogan said. “It will be finished when we close a valve. All your income is over.”
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