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Kurdistan offers dialog and “freeze” of referendum outcomes to Baghdad

The leadership of the Iraqi Kurdistan has invited the government in Baghdad for a dialog. It expressed readiness to “freeze” the outcomes of the Sept 25 independence referendum as well.

“As Iraq and Kurdistan are faced with grave and dangerous circumstances, we are all obliged to act responsibly in order to prevent further violence and clashes between Iraqi and Peshmerga forces. … in order to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations towards the people of Kurdistan and Iraq, we propose the following to the Iraqi Government and the Iraqi and world public opinion: 1. Immediate ceasefire and halt all military operations in the Kurdistan Region. 2. Freeze the results of referendum conducted in the Iraqi Kurdistan. 3. Start an open dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi Federal Government on the basis of the Constitution,” says a statement of the Kurdistan government.

On Oct 24, Al Arabiya TV channel reported that several political movements in Iraqi Kurdistan including the Gorran Movement released a joint statement calling Masoud Barzani, the head of the autonomy, to step down. They also called for forming an “interim government” and drafting a road map to stabilize the situation in Kirkuk and “other disputable territories.”

EADaily reported earlier that the Iraqi government forces ousted Kurdish Peshmerga armed groups from the last district in Kirkuk Province on October 20. The army and federal police supported by Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi Shiite militia units took under control Kirkuk Province with all oil fields in its territory and districts in Nineveh and Diyala provinces that had been under Peshmerga’s control until recently.

Over 92% residents of the Iraqi Kurdistan who participated in the Sept 25 independence referendum voted for separating from Iraq. The turnout was 76.21%. The central government in Baghdad, neighbors of Iraqi Kurdistan, the United States and the UN opposed the referendum.

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