UN urges Iraqi Kurds to drop ref­er­en­dum plan, hold talks

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Bagh­dad, Iraq - The United Na­tions has urged Iraqi Kur­dish leader Mas­sud Barzani to drop plans for an in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum and en­ter talks with Bagh­dad aimed at reach­ing a deal within three years.

Jan Ku­bis, the top UN en­voy in Iraq, of­fered in­ter­na­tional back­ing for im­me­di­ate ne­go­ti­a­tions. He pro­posed ‘struc­tured, sus­tained, in­ten­sive and re­sult-ori­ented part­ner­ship ne­go­ti­a­tions... on how to re­solve all the prob­lems and out­stand­ing is­sues’ be­tween Bagh­dad and Arbil.

Ku­bis called for talks, over­seen by the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, that would aim to reach a deal defin­ing ‘prin­ci­ples and ar­range­ments’ for fu­ture re­la­tions be­tween Bagh­dad and the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment. In re­turn, Barzani’s ad­min­is­tra­tion would agree to post­pone the ref­er­en­dum at least un­til the end of ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The US too on Fri­day warned the vote was dis­tract­ing from the fight against the IS.

‘The US has re­peat­edly em­pha­sised to the lead­ers of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment that the ref­er­en­dum is dis­tract- ing from ef­forts to de­feat ISIS and sta­bi­lize the lib­er­ated ar­eas’, the White House said a state­ment.

‘Hold­ing the ref­er­en­dum in dis­puted ar­eas is par­tic­u­larly provoca­tive and desta­bil­is­ing’, it added.

(AFP)

Iraqi Kurds fly Kur­dish flags dur­ing an event to urge peo­ple to vote for in­de­pen­dence in Arbil, in north­ern Iraq, on Fri­day

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