The dirty negotiations continue before the referendum on independence under the leadership of Barzani scheduled for Sept. 25 in northern Iraq. Brett McGurk and representatives from Western countries are continuing to support Barzani, who wants to turn this period into an oppurtunity.
Kirkuk deputy Hasan Turan said that the negotiation process was directed by the U.S. and Western countries, adding that a delegation from these nations wanted to provide 20 residential units in the debated region to Barzani as a bribe in 2003.
Erdoğan urges Iraqi Kurds to suspend referendum
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday repeated a call on the Kurdish Regional Government to reverse its decision to hold a referendum on independence."I hope that they return from this erroneous decision and continue as the Kurdish Regional Government," Erdogan told Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait during an interview at the Bloomberg Business Forum in New York City.Erdoğan said Turkey would respond with sanctions if next week's referendum went ahead.Residents in provinces controlled by the KRG are scheduled to vote Sept. 25 on independence from Baghdad.The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas where the vote is planned.The Turkish president justified plans to purchase the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia as his administration's responsibility to protect his country."Given that S-400 systems are deployed in neighboring Syria, I should try to get S-400 and even more," he said. "These are measures we take to protect ourselves. There are steps that we need to take with regard to ballistic missiles, as well."Erdoğan said he would have a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Monday and subsequently have dinner with him Thursday in Turkey."We will talk about what is happening in Syria," he said.Regarding the PYD/PKK terror group's activities in northern Syria in cooperation with the U.S. against Daesh, Erdogan said: "I don't understand how a country that believes in democracy cooperates with a terror group to destroy another terror group."Kurdish referendum to breed 'new crises', Erdoğan warnsKRG referendum will ignite a war: Turkey DefMinTurkish FM says Ankara could be a mediator between Erbil, Baghdad
LATEST MEETING WAS IN SULAYMANIYAH
The latest meeting between Iraq and referendum supporters before the poll was in Sulaymaniyah. The meeting was attended by Iraqi President Fuad Masum and Hero Ibrahim Ehmed, who respresented Masoud Barzani and Celal Talabani.
At the Sulaymaniyah meeting, President Fuad Masum conveyed the request of the Iraqi central government to abandon Barzani's referendum.
Iraqi Parliamentarian Turan said Barzani, who is managing this period with foreign forces, and Talabani were offered 20 settlement areas that belong mostly to the Turkmens and over 10,000 kilometers of land as bribery.
Kurd region delegation to visit Baghdad before poll
A high-level delegation from northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) will visit the Iraqi capital within the next 48 hours to discuss outstanding differences between Baghdad and Erbil, the KRG’s administrative capital.According to a Wednesday statement released by the office of Iraqi President Fuad Masum, KRG President Masoud Barzani has agreed to send a high-level KRG delegation to Baghdad on Thursday or Friday.The move comes only days before next week’s controversial referendum on Kurdish regional independence.Earlier Wednesday, Masum and Barzani met in the northern city of Sulaymaniyah where they discussed regional developments and the upcoming poll.“Both men stressed the need for constructive dialogue to resolve outstanding points of contention [between Baghdad and Erbil],” read the statement from Masum’s office.“With this in mind, they decided to dispatch a high-level [KRG] delegation to Baghdad within the next two days,” the statement added.Masum arrived in Sulaymaniyah on Wednesday morning where he urged KRG officials to postpone next week’s poll and resolve outstanding differences between the two sides through dialogue.Last month, a high-level KRG delegation visited Baghdad where delegation members held two weeks of talks with Iraqi officials. Those talks, however, failed to yield any breakthroughs.Next week’s referendum will see residents of KRG-controlled areas of northern Iraq vote on whether or not to declare formal independence from Baghdad.Along with the Iraqi government, Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN all oppose the planned poll, which they say will distract from the fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.Baghdad has even threatened to intervene militarily if next week’s referendum results in violence.Barzani, meanwhile, has said that a “yes” vote would not initiate an automatic declaration of independence but only lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.
IRAQI PUBLIC SHOULD DECIDE
“Negotiations regarding the terror corridor, which is supported by the U.S., Israel and European countries, are administrated by the U.S.,” said Turan.
“Tens of thousands of square kilometers and tens of regions are being sacrificed. The fate of our region should be decided by the public,” he added.
Turan claimed that Barzani’s tactics and strategies were managed by foreign powers.
Russia supports Iraq’s territorial integrity
Commenting on the upcoming Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) referendum, the Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russia supported the territorial integrity of the countries in the region.When asked whether Moscow would recognize the results of the referendum, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he did not want to comment on the matter, according to Sputnik news. Residents in provinces controlled by the KRG will vote on Sept. 25 to decide whether to declare independence from Baghdad.The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas where the vote is planned.Last week, Iraqi lawmakers voted against the independence referendum and called on the Baghdad government to negotiate with the KRG.The Iraqi government is opposed to the poll, claiming it will affect the war against Daesh, cause instability and violate the Iraqi Constitution.Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all backed Baghdad in speaking out against the referendum.Kurd chief open to ‘alternate arrangement’ with BaghdadKurdish referendum to breed 'new crises', Erdoğan warns
CLAIMS TO LAND FROM THREE COUNTRIES
Turan also said that the referendum, initiated by Barzani, was a trap, and emphasized that 16 districts of Mosul, Kirkuk, Tuzhurmatu, Mendeli, Jelavlak, Karatepe, Diyala and Hanekin could be presented to Barzani as a bribe.
The regions presented to Barzani through U.S. and Israeli referendum blackmail consist of up to 70 percent Turkmen settlements.
Saudi Arabia says hopes KRG vote will not take place
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it hoped Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Massoud Barzani would not hold an independence referendum, saying such a move could bring risks for Iraq and the region.Saudi Arabia "looks to the wisdom of President Barzani in not holding the referendum", a foreign ministry statement on state news agency SPA said.Turkish military shares new photographs of drills near Iraqi borderA non-binding independence referendum is planned to be held in northern Iraq on Sept. 25 by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). KRG President Masoud Barzani has ignored the urges of Turkey and the international community, preparing for a step which may cause a regional crisis.Kurd chief open to ‘alternate arrangement’ with BaghdadKurdish referendum to breed 'new crises', Erdoğan warns
Turkish military shares new photographs of drills near Iraqi border
The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) released new photographs of the military drills at the Silopi/Habur region near the Iraqi border.The photographs portray the armored units participating in the military drills.The military drills were initiated in the early hours of Sept. 18, a week before the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) independence referendum.Galeri: Turkish military drills on Iraqi border continueKRG neighbors Turkey and Iran as well as the central Iraqi government, have condemned the referendum, saying it would only fuel more conflict.The drills are being conducted three kilometers away from the border. Many military vehicles, mainly tanks, are participating in the drills.President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to impose sanctions against the KRG over the referendum, piling economic pressure on Kurdish authorities after Turkish troops deployed near the main commercial border crossing.Kurd chief open to ‘alternate arrangement’ with BaghdadTurkey has warned that any breakup of neighbouring Iraq or Syria could lead to a global conflict, and is due to prepare a formal response on Friday, three days before the referendum.Erdoğan said the Turkish cabinet and security council would discuss Ankara's options. They will "put forward their own stance on what kind of sanctions we can impose, or if we will," he told reporters in New York.KRG referendum will ignite a war: Turkey DefMinTurkish Armed Forces dig up military positions near Iraqi borderKurdish referendum to breed 'new crises', Erdoğan warns
Kurd chief open to ‘alternate arrangement’ with Baghdad
Next week’s referendum on Kurdish regional independence will not be postponed unless Baghdad can offer an "alternative arrangement" that would also guarantee the rights of the region's Kurds, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani said Tuesday.Speaking at a campaign rally in the city of Soran in northern Iraq’s Erbil province, Barzani said the poll’s primary goal was to "show the world that we want independence"."We are open to hearing alternatives [to the referendum]," he said. "But in the absence of any such alternatives, the planned [Sept. 25] referendum is set to go forward."Stressing that the KRG’s problem was not with the international community but with Baghdad, Barzani said that next week's poll would only be postponed if the Iraqi government could table a viable alternative.However, he said, any such alternative arrangement "would have to be guaranteed by the international community, including the U.S. and the EU".He went on to give Baghdad "two or three days" in which to propose an alternative scenario."Otherwise," he added, "we will head to the polls on Sept. 25.""Erbil wants independence,” Barzani declared, "not ministerial portfolios or budget allocations".Slated to be held next Monday, the non-binding referendum will see Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad -- vote on whether or not to declare independence.Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all spoken out against the referendum, saying it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.Iraq’s central government has even threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.Barzani, for his part, has said that a victory for the Yes vote would not initiate an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.Kirkuk council blasts parliament bid to remove governorKurdish referendum to breed 'new crises', Erdoğan warns
Kurdish referendum to breed 'new crises', Erdoğan warns
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called on northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to suspend its referendum for independence slated for next week, saying it would engender further instability the region.Baghdad and the regional government need to achieve compromises "on the basis of territorial integrity and the realization of the ideals to build a common future", Erdogan told UN members during his address to the General Assembly in New York."Steps such as demands for independence that can cause new crises and conflicts in the region must be avoided," he said.Erdogan told reporters later in the day that the Turkish government was considering sanctions if the KRG proceeds with the referendum.Residents in provinces controlled by the KRG are scheduled vote Sept. 25 on independence from Baghdad.The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas where the vote is planned.Last week, Iraqi lawmakers voted against the independence referendum and called on the Baghdad government to negotiate with the KRG.The Iraqi government is opposed to the poll, claiming it would affect the war against Daesh, cause instability and violate the Iraqi Constitution.KRG referendum will ignite a war: Turkey DefMinTurkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all backed Baghdad in speaking out against the referendum.Turning to the ongoing violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, Erdogan said the situation risked going down in history as a "dark stain".“The Muslim community in the Rakhine region of Myanmar is being subjected to almost an ethnic cleansing, with provocative terrorist acts used as a pretext," Erdogan said. "The villages of the Rohingya Muslims, who have already been living in extreme poverty and misery and deprived of their citizenship rights, are burned down as hundreds of thousands of people are forced to migrate from the region and the country," he added.The international community "has not given a good account of itself" regarding the "humanitarian plight," Erdogan said, describing the atrocities as "collective punishment" at a UN panel."If this tragedy in Myanmar is not stopped, the history of humanity will face the embarrassment of another dark stain," he said.About 421,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed from Myanmar to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, the UN said Tuesday.The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.Turkish charity gives aid to 110,000 Rohingya MuslimsLast October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine's Maungdaw district, security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which around 400 people were killed, according to Rohingya groups.The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.On the Syrian conflict, Erdogan said Turkey hosts more than 3 million refugees from the war-torn Middle East nation and has spent upwards of $30 billion to help them."In Syria, a civilization is being annihilated together with civilians and innocent children," he said."Turkey could not remain indifferent to the tragedy of these people whom we see as our brothers and sisters regardless of their origin or creed and to whom we are connected with deep historical ties."Turkish aid agency disinfects over 200 refugee campsErdogan stressed, however, that Ankara has not received sufficient support from the international community for its contributions to the Syrian refugee response.He said the European Union sent 820 million of the 6 billion euros it promised, while donations through the UN remained at $520 million. Nothing goes to the government budget, he said, but is instead directly delivered to those in need."Before the whole world, I hereby call on the countries and the international organizations, which have put all the burden of the 3.2 million people on Turkey's shoulders, to fulfill the promises they have made," the president said.With $6 billion of humanitarian and development aid in 2016, Turkey ranked as the world's second largest donor and top contributor in terms of Gross National Product, according to statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).