Abadi Says Referendum Should Be Held Through Iraqi Government

Abadi Says Referendum Should Be Held Through Iraqi Government

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan should be held through the government of Iraq, as Kurdish political parties continue to consider the issue.

Following a meeting with Iraq’s Council of Ministers on Tuesday (April 25), Abadi said splitting from Iraq won’t be in the interest of the Kurdistan Region.

“A referendum decision will destroy the outcomes achieved in the last 13 years in Iraq. The decision to hold a referendum through the Iraqi government is because the Kurdistan Parliament has faced issues and there are protests on how to hold the referendum. A referendum is not in the interest of the Kurds economically, politically and nationally,” Abadi said.

Senior Kurdish officials have made calls for an independence referendum in the region to gauge people’s attitude on such a move, despite the number of crises currently affecting the KRG.

Earlier this month Kurdish parties announced a plan to hold a referendum on independence this year.

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

Earlier in April, Masoud Barzani’s media advisor said a referendum to decide on the fate of the Kurdistan Region would be held this fall.