Abadi warns Kurdistan against proceeding with “illegal” referendum

Abadi warns Kurdistan against proceeding with “illegal” referendum

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Kurdistan Region’s Government against proceeding with a planned referendum on independence from Iraq, saying it will negatively affect all Iraqis.

Speaking during his weekly press briefing in the cabinet, Abai labelled the referendum “unconstitutional and illegal”, adding that his government was “not going to deal with it” given its “negative impacts that will affect everyone”.

Kurdistan had slated the non-binding poll for September 25th, and has, ever since, stressed it was not backtracking on the plan.

Baghdad regularly argued the move was untimely as the country struggles to drive out Islamic State militants who had taken over large areas of the country since 2014.

“The federal government will not partake, support or fund the referendum on the Kurdish region’s independence from Iraq,” Abadi said in a statement last in June. “

Regional powers Turkey and Iran have also voiced opposition to the planned poll. The United Nations has urged Baghdad and Erbil to engage in dialogue on differences related to the referendum.

Kurdistan gained autonomous governance based on the 2005 constitution, but is still considered a part of Iraq. The region was created in 1970 based on an agreement with the Iraqi government, ending years of conflicts.

Both governments in Iraq and Erbil engaged in political spats over regions recaptured by Kurdish Peshmerga (army) troops from the Islamic State militants since campaigns against the group launched in October.