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Butifldrm

Parliamentary power: Kurds did not provide a convincing justification for non-commitment to pay oil money

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12 minutes ago, fancy said:

The USA needs and wants Iraq to succeed.  Enter the great deal maker! I for one am pretty darn happy Our President is fabulous at this! To me this is a breakthrough, be happy 

I dont see this as a breakthrough .. I see this as the beginning of another destabilsation period and another reason to slip back into apathy...

Edited by NoviceInvestor
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4 hours ago, 10 YEARS LATER said:

The Inmates are running the Asylum - going to watch a Marx Brothers movie 🎥 Probably, Monkey 🐒 Business ! Gotta stay grounded-lots of anarchy in Marx Bros. flicks.

 

I just watched Monkey Business  great movie ! 

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27 minutes ago, nannab said:

 

I just watched Monkey Business  great movie ! 

:bravo:  I love those guys ! ! ! ! 

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1 hour ago, Half Crazy Runner said:

 

I personally prefer the Monkey Business film made in 1952 with Cary Grant & Ginger Rogers. A comedy classic 😄

 

The Marx Bros. are an acquired taste . . .  The comedic anarchy is unique. Grant & Rogers are definitely a Class Act.

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1 hour ago, Half Crazy Runner said:

 

I personally prefer the Monkey Business film made in 1952 with Cary Grant & Ginger Rogers. A comedy classic 😄

I guess I'm a little young cause I was thinking you meant Hugh Grant.:lmao:  I'll have to watch some Cary Grant stuff.

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2 hours ago, ChuckFinley said:

Would not put it past the Russians to extend a helping hand.   

 

Chuck, are you saying the Russians will give them a cut rate on the oil they sell to Kurdistan? Russia sells more oil than the Kurds but I go back to my original question about how they gonna get it out or into Kurdistan when Turkey shuts down the pipe lines. My guess would be Iran, if Iran can incorporate Kurdistan into Iran that would be their fix...

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8 minutes ago, DoD said:

 

Chuck, are you saying the Russians will give them a cut rate on the oil they sell to Kurdistan? Russia sells more oil than the Kurds but I go back to my original question about how they gonna get it out or into Kurdistan when Turkey shuts down the pipe lines. My guess would be Iran, if Iran can incorporate Kurdistan into Iran that would be their fix...

No... Rusia just have USD4b agreement for oil and gas with KRG just before referendum and Putin already on the way to Ankara to meet Erdogan.

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6 hours ago, Butifldrm said:

Maliki calls vote 'declaration of war' against Iraqis' unity

Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki came out on Monday harshly against the Kurdistan Region's self-determinative vote on independence.

"Kurdistan's referendum is the declaration of war against the unity of the people of Iraq," said Maliki, the head of the Dawa Party and the Iraq's ruling State of Law Coalition.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is also a member of Dawa.

 

 

Let us make unbiased comparison. In 1990, Saddam Husain have war with international coalition during Operation Desert Storm and 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014/5, under whose order Iraqi Army left Mosul uncontestent to ISIS?

 

This same person is worse than Saddam Husain in term defending his own country.

 

Dr. Shabibi was right about him but nobody take any action against him.

 

There are many issue must look before considering impose any sanction against KRG....

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42 minutes ago, 10 YEARS LATER said:

 

The Marx Bros. are an acquired taste . . .  The comedic anarchy is unique. Grant & Rogers are definitely a Class Act.

 

Oh, I do enjoy the Marx Bros!  Haven't watched them in years, but I remember watching them on tv when I was a kid. Good times 😂

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1 hour ago, jpriceisright said:

I guess I'm a little young cause I was thinking you meant Hugh Grant.:lmao:  I'll have to watch some Cary Grant stuff.

North By Northwest, To Catch A Thief, Charades .....!

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/middle_east/the-latest-us-deeply-disappointed-by-iraqi-kurds-vote/2017/09/25/c35a44aa-a24e-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html

 

The Latest: US ‘deeply disappointed’ by Iraqi Kurds vote

By Associated Press

September 25, 2017 at 8:08 PM

 

IRBIL, Iraq — The latest on the Iraqi Kurdish referendum on support for independence from Baghdad and the tensions surrounding the vote (all times local):

 

3 a.m.

 

The United States says it's "deeply disappointed" that Iraqi Kurds held a referendum on independence Monday, calling the vote "unilateral."

 

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says the move will "increase instability and hardships" for the Kurdish region of Iraq. She says it will also complicate the ability of the regional Kurdish government to work with Iraq's central government and neighboring countries.

 

Still, Nauert says the U.S. won't alter its "historic relationship" with Iraqi Kurds because of the referendum.

 

Nauert also says the U.S. opposes moves by any parties to change boundaries in Iraq. She says the Islamic State group and other extremists are hoping to "exploit instability and discord."

 

The vote has deeply alarmed Iraq's government as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran. The nonbinding vote is expected to pass overwhelmingly.

___

 

9:05 p.m.

 

The United Nations warns of the "potentially destabilizing" effects of the referendum carried out in Iraq's Kurdish region Monday.

 

The statement from the organization's secretary general released after polls closed Monday says "all outstanding issues between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government should be resolved through structured dialogue and constructive compromise."

 

The vote in a referendum on support for independence Monday has rattled the region's relations with Baghdad and regional powers.

 

The vote is non-binding and not expected to result in immediate independence, but Kurdish leaders say it will open the door to negotiations with Baghdad for greater autonomy.

 

9 p.m.

 

Turkey's military has confirmed that Turkey and Iraq will conduct joint military drills in Turkey, along an area bordering Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

 

A military statement on Monday announced a new "phase" in the military exercises that were launched last week in a clear warning to Iraqi Kurds, saying units from Iraq's armed forces would arrive in Turkey later in the evening to join Turkish troops.

 

The joint drills are set to kick off Tuesday, the military said, without providing details.

 

The Turkish military also published photographs of Iraqi troops, including one showing them holding the flags of Turkey and Iraq and posing in front of an Iraqi Air Force plane.

___

 

8 p.m.

 

Iraq's ministry of defense says it's launching "large scale" joint military exercises with Turkey along their shared border.

 

The announcement Monday night followed the closing of polls in the controversial Kurdish referendum on independence from Iraq that both Baghdad and Ankara spoke out against.

 

Earlier Monday From Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened military intervention in Iraq in response to the vote, stressing that Kurdish independence was unacceptable to his country.

___

 

7:30 p.m.

 

Polls have closed across Iraq's Kurdish region and in disputed territories where residents cast ballots in a referendum on support for independence, according to local television broadcasts.

 

The vote is not binding and is not expected to result in independence any time soon, but was hailed as historic by Kurdish leaders spearheading the campaign.

 

The vote is widely expected to be an overwhelming "yes" in support for independence and initial official results are expected on Tuesday.

___

 

6:45 p.m.

 

The head of the Kirkuk police department says the governor has imposed a curfew in the Iraqi city following the closing of polls in a controversial referendum on Kurdish independence.

 

Brig. Sarhad Qader says the curfew was imposed Monday night to "protect the civilians and the communities" in the city claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurdish region.

 

Iraqi Kurds voted in a referendum on support for independence Monday despite calls from Baghdad and the international community to call off the vote, fearing it could lead to instability and the outbreak of violence.

 

Qader says the curfew will be lifted at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

___

 

3:15 p.m.

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin have spoken over the phone about the contentious Iraqi Kurdish vote in support for independence and stressed the importance of Iraq and Syria's territorial integrity.

 

Erdogan's office said after Monday's phone call that Putin would visit Ankara on Thursday to discuss developments in the region, including the Kurdish referendum. There was no immediate confirmation from Moscow.

 

Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population of its own and is fighting insurgents on its territory, strongly opposes any moves toward the creation of a separate Kurdish state.

 

Erdogan earlier in the day threatened the Iraqi Kurds with military action as well as sanctions, including cutting the Iraqi Kurdish region's oil exports.

___

 

2:55 p.m.

 

An Iraqi lawmaker says the country's parliament has approved several tough measures in response to the Iraqi Kurds' contentious vote on support for independence from Baghdad.

 

Shiite lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili says the measures will force Baghdad to act to "protect Iraq's unity and to deploy troops in all areas" where they were before the 2014 blitz by the Islamic State group.

 

Al-Zamili says measures approved on Monday also call for closing all border crossings with the Kurdish region.

 

He says the parliament considers the Kurdish referendum unconstitutional and calls for taking legal measures against all Kurdish officials and employees who took part in the vote.

 

The referendum on independence is non-binding, but it has strained tensions with Baghdad and regional powers. The United States has strongly opposed the move, saying it could destabilize the region.

___

 

2:20 p.m.

 

Syria's foreign minister says his country doesn't recognize the Iraqi Kurdish referendum on support for independence from Baghdad, saying Damascus rejects any measure that could break up neighboring Iraq.

 

The Syrian state news agency SANA says Walid al-Moallem spoke on Sunday in New York. Syria's has a large Kurdish minority that last week had its own vote as part of a move toward a federal system within Syria.

 

Syria, like Turkey and Iran, opposes the vote in Iraq, fearing that Kurdish communities within Syria might eventually do the same.

 

Al-Moallem described the Iraqi Kurdish vote as a "step that we do not recognize" and stressed that the government in Damascus only recognizes a "sole, united Iraq. He says: "We reject any measure the leads to dividing Iraq."

___

 

1:40 p.m.

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening a military intervention in Iraq in response to the Iraqi Kurdish region's referendum on independence from Baghdad.

 

Erdogan, speaking at a conference in Istanbul as Iraqi Kurds voted in their region on Monday, said that Kurdish independence was unacceptable to his country and that this was a "matter of survival."

 

He pointed to Turkish military exercises currently taking place on Turkey's border with the Iraqi Kurdish region.

 

Erdogan said: "Our military is not (at the border) for nothing." He also added: "We could arrive suddenly one night."

 

Erdogan also said Turkey would take political, economic as well as military measures against Iraqi Kurds' steps toward independence and also suggested that Turkey could halt oil flows from a pipeline from northern Iraq.

 

Erdogan said: "Let's see where — and through which channels — will they sell their oil. We have the valve. The moment we shut the valve, that's the end of it."

 

Erdogan said a border crossing with Iraq had been closed in one direction and that Turkey would shut it entirely.

___

 

12:10 p.m.

 

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says his country is considering closing down its airspace as well as a border gate to northern Iraq, in response to a referendum on independence in Iraq's Kurdish region and disputed territories — a vote that Turkey strongly opposes.

 

Yildirim also said on Monday that officers and experts from Iraq's army would join military exercises that Turkey launched along the border in an apparent warning to the Iraqi Kurds.

 

The Turkish premier said Ankara would from now on "enter a strong" dialogue with Baghdad, saying it regarded the central government in the Irai capital as the legitimate authority over border crossings, airports and oil trade in the Kurdish region.

 

He says Turkey had received a formal request from Baghdad requesting the closure of the airspace and border crossing. Yildirim also suggested that Turkey would take action if the Turkmen population came under attack or if Turks encountered "obstructions or problems" at the border crossing.

___

 

11:55 a.m.

 

Iran has described the Iraqi Kurdish referendum on support for independence from Baghdad as "untimely and wrong" and reiterated its support for Iraq's territorial integrity.

 

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters on Monday that the vote could "lead to developments and happenings that could affect all people of the region and especially Kurdish people."

 

Ghasemi reiterated that Iran supports the "territorial integrity and democratic process" in Iraq.

 

Since Sunday, Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard has been having a military exercise in its northwestern Kurdish region bordering Iraq in a sign of Tehran's concerns over the Iraqi Kurdish vote.

 

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported that on Sunday that the Supreme National Security Council closed Iranian airspace to the Iraqi Kurdish area at the request of the central government in Baghdad.

 

Iran and Iraq have been close allies since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. Both are opposed to Kurdish independence.

 

In June, the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that Iraq "should remain integrated" and that advocates of Kurdish independence are "opponents of the independence and identity" of Iraq.

___

 

11:50 a.m.

 

The prime minister of Iraq's northern Kurdish region says the referendum on independence that is underway there doesn't mean "redrawing borders" and will not result in immediate independence.

 

Nechirvan Barzani says that even if the result of the vote is a "yes," the region will resolve its disputes with Baghdad peacefully. He spoke at a press conference on Monday morning in Irabil, the Kurdish regional capital.

 

Voting is taking place across the region and in disputed territories claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

 

The referendum on independence, while non-binding, has strained tensions with Baghdad and regional powers. The United States has come out strongly opposed to the move, cautioning that it could distract from the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group.

___

 

11:35 a.m.

 

In Baghdad, residents have strongly criticized the Iraqi Kurds' independence referendum, saying it would raise sectarian tensions and create an "Israel in Iraq."

 

An Arabic newspaper headline on Monday said "Kurdistan into the unknown," a reference to the name Kurds use for their region.

 

Journalist Raad Mohammad said the vote represents a "division of Iraq," and added that it was "unacceptable for the Iraqi people as well as many other countries."

 

Another Baghdad resident, Ali al-Rubayah, described the referendum as a "black day in the history of the Kurds," adding that "today, the Kurds are trying to make an Israeli state in the north of Iraq."

 

Lawyer Tariq al-Zubaydi said the referendum was inappropriate amid the "ongoing threat of terrorism and Islamic State" and that a "unified country is better for all."

___

 

9:35 a.m.

 

Turkey says it doesn't recognize the Iraqi Kurdish region's referendum on support for independence from Baghdad and insists its results will be "null and void."

 

Turkey's Foreign Ministry released a statement as polls opened in Iraq's Kurdish-run provinces and disputed territories on Monday, with Ankara calling on the international community — and especially regional countries — not to recognize the vote either.

 

It also urges Iraq Kurdish leaders to abandon "utopic goals," accusing them of endangering peace and stability for Iraq and the whole region. The ministry reiterated that Turkey would take all measures to thwart threats to its national security.

 

On Saturday, Turkey's parliament met in an extraordinary session to extend a mandate allowing Turkey's military to send troops over its southern border if developments in Iraq and Syria are perceived as national security threats.

___

 

8:15 a.m.

 

Polls have opened in Iraq's Kurdish-run provinces and disputed territories as Iraqi Kurds cast ballots in support for independence from Baghdad in a historic but non-binding vote.

 

Millions are expected to vote on Monday across the three provinces that make up the Kurdish autonomous region, as well as residents in disputed territories — areas claimed by both Baghdad and the Kurds, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

 

The vote is being carried out despite mounting regional opposition to the move. The United States has warned the vote will likely destabilize the region amid the fight with the Islamic State group.

 

Baghdad has also come out strongly against the referendum, demanding on Sunday that all airports and borders crossings in the Kurdish region be handed back to federal government control.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
    
 

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Did the KRG who forced the people to participate in the referendum vote or move out of their totalitarian area of control , also tell the people who stayed and voted ... how to vote ? Yeah that's a democratic principle . So says the independent socialistic party of Kurdistan.  I think they want to be called Iranian Kurds and not Iraqi Kurds, I know they do not want to be called Turkisk Kurds. They may next try to liberate that part of old kurdistan that is in Turkeys territory but that process will not be so easy I think. If this is truly unconstitutional, and they cannot secure a UN backed detailed deal, I think Abadi's prepositioning of Federal Iraqi troops near or inside the Erbil province may launch a internal "police" action.

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8 minutes ago, blueskyline said:

North By Northwest, To Catch A Thief, Charades .....!

I haven't seen those, but I was looking for some new things to watch. I'll put those at the top of my list. Thanks blueskyline!

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2 hours ago, new york kevin said:

Did the KRG who forced the people to participate in the referendum vote or move out of their totalitarian area of control , also tell the people who stayed and voted ... how to vote ? Yeah that's a democratic principle . So says the independent socialistic party of Kurdistan.  I think they want to be called Iranian Kurds and not Iraqi Kurds, I know they do not want to be called Turkisk Kurds. They may next try to liberate that part of old kurdistan that is in Turkeys territory but that process will not be so easy I think. If this is truly unconstitutional, and they cannot secure a UN backed detailed deal, I think Abadi's prepositioning of Federal Iraqi troops near or inside the Erbil province may launch a internal "police" action.

I've been saying for yrs that the Barzani's were tools for Iran, but everyone is so sympathetic to the Kurdish people they don't listen. 

How did ISIS,  SUDDENLY, take over the northern part of Iraq without the Kurdish Gov. knowing about it? How is it that the Bad Azzed Kurdish army allows the IMIS to operate in their territory while at the same time threatening the Iraqi army over this little referendum?

The Barzani's and Maliki  and anyone that has anything to do with Iran have got to be removed by any means necessary or Iraq , and the entire region, will never see any normalcy what so ever. Problem is , NO ONE , has the balls to do anything about Iran. And I mean NO ONE. 

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45 minutes ago, ladyGrace'sDaddy said:

I've been saying for yrs that the Barzani's were tools for Iran, but everyone is so sympathetic to the Kurdish people they don't listen. 

How did ISIS,  SUDDENLY, take over the northern part of Iraq without the Kurdish Gov. knowing about it? How is it that the Bad Azzed Kurdish army allows the IMIS to operate in their territory while at the same time threatening the Iraqi army over this little referendum?

The Barzani's and Maliki  and anyone that has anything to do with Iran have got to be removed by any means necessary or Iraq , and the entire region, will never see any normalcy what so ever. Problem is , NO ONE , has the balls to do anything about Iran. And I mean NO ONE. 

 

If KRG continue ally with Iran from 1970s, so the truth is Iran want Iraq to total broke...

 

Then, National Alliance was gamed by Iran all the way until now..... And still National Alliance pro-iran until now.

 

Interesting....

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/worldviews/wp/2017/09/26/iraqi-kurds-voted-in-their-independence-referendum-now-what/

 

Iraqi Kurds voted in their independence referendum. Now what?

By Ishaan Tharoor

 

September 26, 2017 at 1:00 AM

 

Want smart analysis of the most important news in your inbox every weekday along with other global reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know? Sign up for the Today's WorldView newsletter.

 

For millions of ethnic Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan, Monday was a historic day.After a century of despair and neglect, they had the chance to vote for their own independence in a controversial referendum staged by the Kurdistan Regional Government — the body that holds sway over the predominantly Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. Official results are expected in the coming days, with a "yes" vote in favor of independence almost certain to win out.

 

But for everyone else in the region, this is where the problems begin. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres issued a statement on Monday lamenting the "potentially destabilizing effects" of the vote. The Iraqi government, as well as Turkey and Iran — nations on Iraqi Kurdistan's borders with sizable Kurdish minorities of their own — have rejected the referendum.

 

Kurdish officials insist the vote is nonbinding, and see it instead as a demonstration of the Kurdish will for self-determination and a pointed message to Baghdad.

 

But the Iraqi government sent a messageof its own, announcing that it was conducting joint military exercises with Turkey near Iraqi Kurdish territory. Iran did the same along its borders and closed its airspace to flights coming in and out of Iraqi Kurdistan.

 

What was the referendum about?
 

KRG officials argue that this moment has been long overdue. Since the U.S.-led removal of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Iraqi Kurds have enjoyed a great degree of autonomy from Baghdad and, blessed with considerable oil resources, have been able to build up institutions of a potential future state.

 

Kurdish peshmerga militia have fought on the front lines against the Islamic State, a struggle that has seen close security cooperation between their forces and the United States.

 

Kurdish politicians, in particular Masoud Barzani, the Kurdish regional president, now sense their moment is nigh amid the upheavals and conflicts roiling Iraq and Syria. And they see a government in Baghdad, led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that has turned cold toward the Kurds and is barely able to protect its own people.

 

"Changes happened also about 100 years ago, and the Kurds were bystanders," Bayan Sami Adbul Rahman, the KRG's top representative in Washington, told me earlier this year, referring to the Kurds' historic sense of dispossession as new states emerged out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. "We are not going to be bystanders again."

 

A "yes" vote should kick-start a process of negotiations that would pave the way for an eventual separation from Iraq, Abdul Rahman said.

 

But some critics within the notoriously fractious KRG see the referendum as a bid by Barzani and his ruling party to consolidate power.

 

Two rival prominent Iraqi Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Movement for Change, grumbled about the referendum but eventually got on board.

 

"Both parties see the referendum as a power grab by Barzani, whose grip has been weakened by a prolonged economic downturn triggered by the fall in global oil prices," wrote Amberin Zaman in Al-Monitor.

 

Provocatively, the referendum was also staged in the disputed, oil-rich province of Kirkuk, where peshmerga fighters have held sway since 2014, when they rushed into the provincial capital to defend it from the Islamic State. The prospect of violence now seems particularly high there.

 

WA2PGAVHI42S5AVF2TOV2A32EY.jpg&w=600 A peshmerga soldier celebrates the referendum on Monday outside a voting station in Kirkuk, Iraq. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

 

Why does the outside world oppose the referendum?

 

Even the United States, which has historically done a great deal to boost the Iraqi Kurds, is dead set against the referendum. U.S. officials fear that a Kurdish independence push now will undermine the campaign against the Islamic State and harm the reelection campaign of Abadi, their favored candidate, in April. Now is not the time, they argue, to rock the boat.

 

Abadi has deemed the referendum "illegal," while governments in Turkey and Iran also refuse to recognize the vote's result. The Turkish government has worked closely with Barzani, but now warned of dire repercussions should the secession movement gain much more steam.

 

"After this, let's see through which channels the northern Iraqi regional government will send its oil, or where it will sell it," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, warning that Turkey could block the KRG's oil exports. "We have the tap. The moment we close the tap, then it's done."

 

Turkey, of course, faces its own long-running Kurdish insurgency, which has flared once more in the wake of the Syrian civil war and the rise of a semiautonomous Syrian Kurdish enclave on its southern flank.

 

Ankara, desperate to shove the genie of Kurdish nationalism back into its lamp, dreads the possibility of a functioning, independent Kurdish state breaking away from Iraq.

 

The Iraqi Kurds do have one conspicuous source of support — the Israelis have long seen the Kurds as useful allies on the Iranian border and have been vocal advocates for their independence in the buildup to the vote.

 

What happens next?

 

A yes vote may not prompt an immediate crisis. There's a hope, suggests David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, that the KRG's neighbors may moderate their stances after the referendum. "Outsiders will have little choice but to deal with the aftermath in a pragmatic fashion," Pollock wrote. "As one senior Kurdish official put it privately... this week, 'We hope that wisdom will prevail.' "

If it doesn't, though, and if no productive track of talks emerges between Baghdad and Irbil, then a fuse will have been lit and an already complex geopolitical conflagration will get all the more complicated, especially for the United States.

 

"Democratic Western states would hardly want to be seen as standing against the collective will of millions of people who had voted for separation from Iraq," wrote Michael Stephens, research fellow for Middle East Studies at RUSI Qatar, a think tank. "But neither do they wish to be the main architects of a permanent rupture in a fragmented region."


Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor and correspondent at Time magazine, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.

Edited by Spider
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http://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2017/09/iraq-refuses-talks-kurds-referendum-results-170926033646791.html

 

Iraq refuses talks with Kurds about referendum results

26 SEPTEMBER 2017

 

PM Abadi says Baghdad will not discuss results of Kurdish independence referendum, calling it 'unconstitutional'.

 

 

In a televised address, Abadi reiterated that Baghdad "will not recognise the outcome" of the referendum [Reuters]

 

The Iraqi government will not hold talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) about the results of Monday's "unconstitutional" referendum on independence in northern Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said.

 

"We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum because it is unconstitutional," Abadi said in a speech broadcast on state TV on Monday night.

 

"Most of the problems of the [Kurdish] region are internal ones, not and not with Baghdad, and will be increased with the calls for separation," Abadi said, adding: "The economic and financial problems the region is suffering from are the result of corruption and mis-administration," the prime minister said.

 

READ MORE: Iraqi Kurds count referendum votes

 

Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), said the referendum is not binding and was meant to be a legitimate mandate to negotiate with Baghdad and neighbouring countries over the secession of the Kurdish-controlled region from Iraq.

Erbil-based Rudaw TV, citing the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission, said 78 percent of the more than five million eligible voters turned out to vote.

 

In Kirkuk, authorities declared a curfew an hour and a half before polls closed as jubilant Kurds started to celebrate.

 

The vote was expected to deliver a comfortable "yes", and final results should be announced in 72 hours.

'Unilaterally declared'

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed regret that the Kurds have gone ahead with the referendum.

 

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres noted the referendum was "unilaterally declared, included disputed areas" and was opposed by Iraqi authorities and the global community.

 

The spokesman said Guterres regretted that opportunities for negotiations were not seized and viewed the decision to hold the vote as potentially destabilising.

 

The vote held Monday was billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination. To Baghdad, the vote threatens a redrawing of Iraq's borders, while leaders in Turkey and Iran fear the move would embolden their own Kurdish populations.

 

READ MORE: Iraqi Kurdistan - Playing the independence game

 

Turkey's military confirmed that Turkey and Iraq will conduct joint military drills in Turkey, along an area bordering Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

 

A military statement on Monday announced a new "phase" in the military exercises that were launched last week in a clear warning to Iraqi Kurds, saying units from Iraq's armed forces would arrive in Turkey later in the evening to join Turkish troops.

 

2a2fa81c2cb747eda6b2e70a8eefc5d3_18.jpg

 

Turkish army tanks prepared for exercises in Silopi, near the Habur border gate with Iraq, southeastern Turkey, on Monday [DHA-Depo Photos via AP]

 

The joint drills are set to kick off on Tuesday, the military said, without providing details.

 

The Turkish military also published photographs of Iraqi troops, including one showing them holding the flags of Turkey and Iraq and posing in front of an Iraqi Air Force plane.

 

0aa1e06064074247af81a87247d0994b_7.jpg
 

Source: News agencies

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http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/iraqi-kurds-count-independence-referendum-170925174221276.html

 

Iraqi Kurds count referendum votes

Reports say an estimated 78 percent of the more than five million eligible voters turned out to cast their ballot.

 

 

Voting stations set up for the Iraqi Kurdish referendum have closed their doors and counting of ballots has begun, according to the official supervising body.

 

Voting closed at 6pm local time (16:00 GMT) on Monday, and the final results were expected to be announced within 72 hours.

 

Erbil-based Rudaw TV, citing the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission, said 78 percent of the more than five million eligible voters turned out to vote.

 

In Kirkuk, authorities declared a curfew an hour and a half before polls closed as jubilant Kurds started to celebrate.

 

READ MORE: Tensions rise in Iraq ahead of Kurdish referendum

 

Kurds in the northern Iraqi city flocked to polling stations, but there has been lingering opposition of the vote among the Arabs and Turkmen who live alongside them.

 

Voters were asked to tick either Yes or No on the ballot asking them just one question in Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic and Assyrian: "Do you want the Kurdistan Region and Kurdistani areas outside the (Kurdistan) Region to become an independent country?"

 

The referendum is opposed by the Iraqi central government in Baghdad as well as the neighbouring countries of Turkey and Iran, besides major international powers.

UN chief concerned

Against this backdrop, Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, expressed concern on Monday about the potentially destabilising effects of the referendum, calling on Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to resolve differences through dialogue and compromise.

 

He also told Iraqi Kurd authorities to ensure that the work of the UN mission in Iraq "will be allowed to continue unhindered".

 

However, KRG President Masoud Barzani defended the non-binding vote, saying only through the referendum can Kurds secure their future.

 

He also pledged to start negotiations with Baghdad officials as soon as the result of the votes is known.

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The Kurds are likely to approve the referendum, but they are not expected to result in any immediate declaration to separate Iraq.

 

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, KRG representative to the US, says that while the result is non-binding for the Iraqi government, it is "binding" for the Kurdish leadership "to follow the will of the people".

 

"The Kurdish leadership now has the mandate to negotiate with Baghdad on an amicable separation, on a new relationship between Erbil and Baghdad," she told Al Jazeera from Washington, DC.

 

The referendum has raised alarm in Iraq's neighbours - Turkey, Iran and Syria - over concerns it could encourage their own Kurdish minorities to break away.

Turkey is home to the largest Kurdish population at an estimated 14 million.

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that his country would do whatever it takes to block efforts against the Turkey's territorial integrity.

 

The US and the UN have also condemned the referendum.

 

Iraq and other neighbours of the Kurds "have to understand that we have done this step by step", Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman told Al Jazeera.

 

"We are taking this very seriously, we want to engage in dialogue. We don't want to destabilise Iraq or Kurdistan ... but certainly our aim is an independent Iraqi Kurdistan in the near future."

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Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/09/uncertainty-kurds-polls-open-170914123855485.html

 

Uncertainty among Kurds as polls open

Kurdish bid for independence from Iraq will be problematic amid ongoing internal disputes, residents of the region say.

 
e1dd7f3b246442818a030968709f93de_18.jpg Calls for independence in the Kurdish region increased following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq [File: Reuters] DefaultAvatar.jpg

by

Matthew Vickery

 

 

Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq - Walk into a cafe in the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Erbil, strike up a conversation about the referendum, and you will find customer after customer waxing lyrical about voting "yes" to the region's bid for independence.

 

Finding a "no" voter, or someone who will boycott the vote altogether is near impossible in the Kurdish region's capital of Erbil, controlled by President Masoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

 

In the city, voters largely see the referendum as history in the making and an opportunity to rid the region of a fraught and deadly shared history with Iraq.

 

Much of the Iraqi-Kurdish minority's animosity stems back to an "Arabisation" campaign led by late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baathist government, which aimed to shift the demographics in favour of the country's Sunni population.

 

As a result, the decades-long campaign displaced hundreds of thousands of minorities, including Kurds, Turkmen, Christians and Yazidis.

 

International rights groups including US-based Human Rights Watchclassified the Anfal campaign – an operation launched in the late 1980s against the Kurds in Iraq's north - as a "genocide" for the use of chemical weapons.

 

Some 4,000 villages in the Kurdish region were destroyed, and up to 100,000 civilians were killed.

 

"September 25 is a historic day for all the people of the 'Kurdistan' region," Baxtiyar Goran, a 25-year-old Erbil-based journalist, told Al Jazeera.

 

"An independent Kurdistan would put an end to all the catastrophes, opening the door for the people of Kurdistan to build up their own country and shine as a beacon of democracy and stability in a volatile Middle East," Goran, who plans to vote in favour of independence, added.

 

"The result of living in Iraq has only been genocide, chemical bombardment, displacement, and the destruction of our homes, villages and towns."

 

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'Yes' voter Baxtiyar Goran holds a 'Kurdistan' flag outside the White House building in Washington, DC [Baxtiyar Goran/Al Jazeera]

 

But not all Kurds are in agreement with the likes of Goran. In the region's second-largest city of Sulaymaniyah, opinions on the referendum vary.

 

"I'm voting 'no'," 28-year-old Dilshad Abdul, a Kurdish government employee, told Al Jazeera.

 

READ MORE: Iraq parliament votes to remove Kirkuk governor

 

According to Abdul, the conditions for a referendum must include political and economic stability. He says that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which is embroiled in such crises that have crippled the region, must resolve these issues before a fair referendum takes place.

 

"We still don't have a united administration," Abdul continued, referencing the KDP-controlled Erbil and Duhok governorates and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) controlled Sulaymaniyah and Halabja.

 

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Dilshad Abdul, 28, says he will vote 'No' as he believes the conditions are not right for independence [Halwest Abdulkareem/Al Jazeera]

 

The long-time rivalry between the KDP and PUK, which saw both Kurdish parties face-off against each other on opposite sides of the Iraqi-Kurdish civil war, has seen some scepticism from voters in PUK-controlled Sulaymaniyah over the intentions of the largely KDP-led referendum process. The three-year civil war, which began in 1994, resulted in both parties controlling different areas of the Iraqi Kurdish region.

 

Like Abdul, a number of voters in PUK controlled areas see the referendum process as undemocratic, carried out without the backing of the KRG Parliament. For the first time in two years, the legislative body convened on September 15, officially supporting the referendum and its scheduled date.

 

The institution has been in recess since a parliament speaker, who is a member of the Sulaymaniyah-based political party Movement for Change, was refused entry to the region's capital by KDP-affiliated security forces in 2015.

 

Although more than 60 members of parliament called on the parliament meeting to approve the referendum date, the Gorran Movement, which is the second largest party in the parliament, and the Kurdistan Islamic Group, have yet to join other political parties and officially endorse the referendum.

 

Instead, both parties have been lobbying for the reactivation of parliament, and for political factions to resolve internal disputes, before such a vote takes place.

 

A joint statement by both groups released this week reaffirmed the belief that while self-determination was a natural right of the Kurdish people, holding the referendum under the current political conditions and without solving internal crises in the KRG is a "dangerous step" to take.

 

The debate that has sprung up in Kurdish society has not merely revolved around which way to vote, or around whether the vote should take place altogether.

 

The debate has also included a discussion about the inclusion of the disputed territories - such as the oil-rich province of Kirkuk and parts of the Nineveh and Diyala provinces. These are controlled by the Kurdish military and lie outside of KRG's defined borders, but are regarded by Kurdish leaders as integral parts of any independent Kurdish state.

 

The inclusion of Kirkuk, in particular, has incensed Turkmen in the ethnically mixed region, who dubbed the decision of partaking in the upcoming vote "unconstitutional".

 

Kirkuk, regarded as part of the state of Iraq by Baghdad, and part of the autonomous Kurdish region by the KRG, officially announced its participation in the referendum last month.

 

Similarly, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other government officials have repeatedly said that the referendum would violate the Iraqi constitution.

"We will not allow the partition of Iraq," Abadi said. 

 

READ MORE: The looming question of Kurdish independence in Iraq

 

The potential of an independent "Kurdistan" is also perceived as a threat by neighbouring Turkey and Iran, who fear that an independent state will influence their own Kurdish populations.

 

Meanwhile, the United States and the European Union have both advocated for the postponement of the vote, fearing the referendum could distract from the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) by rising tensions between the Kurds, Turkmen, and Arabs.

 

International Crisis Group's Iraq senior analyst, Maria Fantappie, told Al Jazeera that the referendum was already creating uncertainty in Iraq and that the power struggle afterwards would determine what effect the vote would ultimately have on the region.

 

"It's [the referendum] impact on Iraq will depend less on its turnout and results, and more on how Kurds and Iraqis will react to the vote and manipulate its results to achieve their political aims in the power struggle unfolding after the defeat of [ISIL]," Fantappe said.

 

Those who will vote in favour of independence say they are well aware of the problems that exist within the region and around the referendum. However, with the Kurdish region on the international radar following the Peshmerga's contribution in the fight against ISIL, "Yes" voters say the time is right for a separation from Iraq.

 

"We all admit that not everything is perfect, but waiting for the right time where everything is perfect would be too risky, and we might never have another opportunity where we can freely practise our rights and determine our future," said Goran.

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While an overwhelming majority of social media users utilised platforms to voice their support for independence, a countermovement led by a group of activists, entrepreneurs, and politicians in the region advocated for a postponement of the referendum under the slogan of "No for Now".

 

Still, the countermovement did not succeed in convincing voters like Najwa Abbasi to vote in opposition to independence.

 

"If we go back 100 years, Iraq has tried to debilitate civil Kurdish [society]," Abbasi said from her hometown of Sulaymaniyah.

 

"I know they [voters who are voting in opposition to independence] are hesitant and I want to tell them - look back at what they did to us, we are the owners of our land. Every Kurdish house has lost a member in war," she added.

 

Monday's referendum is neither binding nor the first. In 2005, a similar referendum held by Kurdish parties revealed a desire for independence.

 

However, Kurds have become far more divided since the 2005 ballot, with the region engulfed in a financial crisis that has been blamed by some Kurds on the war against, as well as political mismanagement and corruption.

 

Barzani's continued presidency term, which had expired in 2013, has also driven a wedge between civilians in the KDP and PUK-controlled areas, with some voters saying that they see the referendum process as a hijacking of the Kurdish independence movement - which almost all Kurds support - by Barzani.

 

Rebaz Jaza Abdul Qadir, a university student from Sulaymaniyah, said he would boycott the vote altogether because of his views on Barzani.

 

"Holding the referendum is an agenda which has been put forward by Barzani's family in an effort to postpone presidential elections and extend Barzani's illegal presidential term," the 24-year-old told Al Jazeera.

318249d4b77b412b89760a41a90b908f_18.jpg
University student Rebaz Qadir says he will boycott the referendum, which he believes is part of an 'agenda' [Halwest Abdulkareem/Al Jazeera]

 

Qadir said he believed the referendum was also being used to obscure failures in governing the region committed by both the KDP-led Barzani family, and the PUK-led Talabani family.

 

"New political unrest will occur among the parties after the referendum, I hope it won't reach civil war," Qadir added.

 

While it is expected that the vote in favour of independence would ultimately win, Kurds on both sides agree that for the referendum to be a success - regardless of what side tops the ballot - internal disputes have to be resolved and potential instability staved off in its aftermath.

 

The Kurdish region, made up of three governorates - Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah - has enjoyed broad autonomy since the 1991 Gulf War, and has since then expanded their territory by 40 percent. It has been seeking independence since the conclusion of the first world war. 

 

Additional reporting by Hawbash Abu Bakir.

 

Source: Al Jazeera

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Barzani is a crook just like maliki out for his own agenda.  The Barzani family has stolen billions  from the people of iraq. He doesnt want to lose power.

Edited by easyrider
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9 minutes ago, Botzwana said:

Hey Easyrider, welcome back!  I have seen some doom and gloom for this investment over this refrendum today.  What say you?  I have always respected your opinions.

Barzani doesnt want to be voted out, he knows his political days are numbered, so what does he do? tries to cause division and rally kurds around himself for his own agenda straight out of maliki playbook. The Barzani family is worth billions how did they get all that? well they stole it of course. The referedum is unconstitutional they need a legal census to do this which they dont have. The Un has already shut them down, so has Iran and Turkey. No one agrees with it. Barzanis arrogance and pride will be his downfall in the end. Abadi isnt worried because the U.S doesnt back the kurds to secede from baghdad. IMHO its a ploy of pride and arrogance from the corrupt barzani family that will go NOWHERE.

Edited by easyrider
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i have been waiting  , and  listening , for any word on results  { as of today Tuesday morning I do not know how it pans out , yet ! ---  I am going to go out on a limb here and say  " it will be close in the vote ,   they will stay ,    they have a lot of prosperity  and things are well in the Kurdistan region  right now   ,  and yeah  I bet they do remember the old days  getting kicked around by all the  dictators  and that too was a focal point of the vote I can imagine ,   but   I do think they news will be that the vote did not pass to  form a region of its own ,  and the  powers that be will let bagdad know   " it is time to settle the money business and  get our  sharing  of profits rolling ,  give all Iraqi people  the money values and the life they died for  now "  or something along these lines any way  }       oh   and  bagdad   , with the reply will state that the new banking reform  " just  passed and all of Iraq  will be  receiving  the bounty  of the profits  now   ----  not soon or tomorrow  but  now   !     { gotta hope  anyway  ;) }  

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