Thursday, October 19, 2017 | ePaper

US asks Iraq Kurds to postpone referendum

  • Print


Reuters, Erbil :
The United States has asked Iraq's Kurds to postpone a referendum on the independence of their autonomous Kurdish region, planned for Sept. 25, the Kurdish presidency said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the request on Friday, during a phone call with the president of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani.
The U.S. State Department said in June it was concerned that the referendum will distract from "more urgent priorities" such as the defeat of Islamic State militants.
"On the issue of the postponement of the referendum, the President (Barzani) stated that the people of the Kurdistan Region would expect guarantees and alternatives for their future," said the statement issued by the Kurdish presidency after Tillerson's call, giving no further details on the Kurdish leader's reaction to the U.S. request.
The United States and other Western nations are concerned that the vote could turn into another regional flashpoint. Turkey, Iran and Syria, which together with Iraq have sizeable Kurdish populations, all oppose an independent Kurdistan.
Iraq's Kurds will maintain their plan to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25, despite a U.S. request to postpone it, a high-ranking Kurdish official told Reuters on Saturday.
"The date is standing, Sept. 25, no change," said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, commenting on the request communicated by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The U.S. State Department said in June it was concerned that the referendum will distract from "more urgent priorities" such as the defeat of Islamic State militants.

More News For this Category

Merkel warns of compromise as talks on coalition start

Reuters, Berlin :A chastened Angela Merkel warned her conservatives they must compromise to forge a nationally untested alliance in Germany as she heads into talks with other parties on

UK intelligence chief says terror threat is worst of career

AP, London :Britain's domestic intelligence chief warned during a rare public speech Tuesday that the terrorist threat the country faces has accelerated at an alarming pace and is worse

Threats to start war with North Korea `dangerous, short-sighted`: Hillary

Threats to start war with North Korea `dangerous, short-sighted`: Hillary

Reuters, Seoul :  Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the United

Qatar Emir says open to dialogue to resolve Gulf crisis

Qatar Emir says open to dialogue to resolve Gulf crisis

Reuters, Bogor :Qatar is "open to dialogue" in resolving a dispute that has seen the Gulf state isolated from its Arab neighbours, its emir said during a visit to

News In Brief

Seoul considers unilateral sanctions against North KoreaReuters, Seoul South Korea is considering levying its own sanctions on North Korea as the isolated state ramps up tension with its missile

EU President proposes two-year reform blitz

EU President proposes two-year reform blitz

AFP, Brussels :EU President Donald Tusk on Tuesday proposed an ambitious timeline of 13 summits over the next two years to reboot the European Union after the shock of

Chinese President pledges to build 'modern socialist country'

Chinese President pledges to build 'modern socialist country'

Reuters, Beijing :Chinese President Xi Jinping opened a critical Communist Party Congress on Wednesday with a pledge to build a "modern socialist country" that will never copy the political

US official not ruling out eventual direct talks with N Korea

US official not ruling out eventual direct talks with N Korea

Reuters, Tokyo :The United States is not ruling out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said on Tuesday, hours after

US 'not taking sides' between Iraqi forces, Kurds: Trump

US 'not taking sides' between Iraqi forces, Kurds: Trump

Washington is "not taking sides" following clashes between Iraqi forces and the country's Kurds, US President Donald Trump said Monday, as tensions escalate following the autonomous Kurdish region's independence referendum.Speaking

Catalonia braces for protests as key separatists held

Catalonia braces for protests as key separatists held

AFP, Barcelona :Catalonia braced for protests Tuesday after a judge ordered the detention of two powerful separatist leaders, further inflaming tensions in the crisis over the Spanish region's chaotic independence