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Iraqi Kurds do not need al-Hakim’s approval on independence: MP

2017/04/22 | 09:30

(Iraq News)- Shakhawan Abdullah, a Kurdish lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament.

Photo: screenshot/Kurdistan24 TV

HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— In response to top Shi’ite leader and Iraq’s National Coalition Chief, Ammar al-Hakim, who recently expressed opposition to Kurdistan’s independence from Iraq, a Kurdish lawmaker, Shakhawan Abdulla, said that Kurds do not require his approval on the matter of Kurdish statehood.

“Kurds will not take the legitimacy of declaring Kurdistan’s independence neither from Mr.

Hakim nor from anyone else, but the people of the Kurdistan Region,” Abdullah, who also heads the Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee, told Kurdistan24 on Thursday.

“There are many Arab and world countries that support the creation of a Kurdish state, and they [al-Hakim] will witness this fact in the future,” Abdulla pointed out.

The Kurdish MP also expressed concern over al-Hakim’s position on the issue as previously the Shi’ite leader and his family stood with Kurds and supported their rights.

Al-Hakim, the President of the National Alliance, a coalition of the main Shi’ite political groups, which includes Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Dawa party, in an interview with Reuters, said that any referendum on Kurdish independence will be a “unilateral” move, which his faction does not support.

“We will insist on dialogue” as a mean to resolve the disagreement, he told Reuters.

Ammar al-Hakim also said that Israel would be the only country to recognize a Kurdish state if it were declared.

Iraqi PM Al-Abadi said last Wednesday the Kurds have the right to possess drive and will to create their own independent state but that a referendum at this time is not in their interest due to the continuing fight against Islamic State.

In August 2016 senior Iraqi Kurdish politician and the head of PUK Politburo, Mala Bakhtiar said only Israel and Hungary back the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Top Kurdish officials have previously promised to hold a referendum and allow the people to decide on their future before the end of 2017.

Kurds said the expected “yes” outcome would strengthen their hand in talks on self-determination with Baghdad, and would not mean automatically declaring independence.

Read more about Independent Kurdistan state

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