Barzani rejects Arab League’s request to postpone independence referendum

Iraq’s Kurdistan region president Massud Barzani (L) receives Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Abul Gheit on September 9, 2017 in Arbil.

:: Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani rejected Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit’s request to postpone the independence referendum scheduled for September 25.

The Arab League also requested the Kurds to hold dialogue with Baghdad before the referendum is held but Barzani said a delegation from Kurdistan will visit Baghdad after the referendum and not before it.

The Arab League chief had arrived in Erbil from Baghdad to address the referendum which stirred problems between Kurdistan’s region and Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told Al-Hadath, Al Arabiya’s sister channel, that Baghdad informed Erbil of the importance of maintaining Iraq’s unity and of postponing the referendum until the war with ISIS ends as then it will be possible to negotiate instead of creating tensions and threatening security.

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