Aboul Gheit discusses in Baghdad and Erbil a «compromise»


Sunday – 19 Dhu al-Hijjah 1438 AH – 10 September 2017 AD Issue Number [14166]
Kurdish girl picks up Sylvie during a popular rally in support of the independence referendum in Erbil last night (AFP)
Cairo: Sawsan Abu Hussein – Erbil: «Middle East»
The referendum on independence scheduled for September 25 in the Kurdistan region will discuss the talks held by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Baghdad and Erbil yesterday.

While the spokesman for Aboul Gheit that he came to Iraq in search of a “compromise” between Baghdad and Erbil, a consultant in the presidency of the Kurdistan region that the referendum will be postponed only with international guarantees.

Mahmoud Afifi, Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the League, said that Aboul Gheit’s visit was part of his diplomatic efforts to preserve the territorial integrity of a member state.Afifi added that Aboul Gheit’s message to Baghdad and Erbil is the need to show the spirit of “compromise” and quiet approach, and adopt the principle of dialogue and adherence to the Constitution.

In turn, the media adviser in the Office of the President of Kurdistan, Kifah Mahmoud, told «Middle East», that the leadership in Kurdistan answers to all questions and advice Aboul Gheit, stressing that the referendum will not be postponed unless there are «international guarantees written and signed by Baghdad and the United States and perhaps other parties », pointing out that« against the backdrop of these guarantees can postpone the referendum for a certain period ».




Barzani to “Aboul Gheit”: No postponement of the referendum and no dialogue only after its execution

 Twilight News    

 31 minutes ago
The head of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, on Saturday rejected a request by Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit to postpone the referendum scheduled for September 25, and refused to hold a dialogue with Baghdad until the referendum. 

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit arrived here Saturday from Baghdad as part of his efforts to resolve the Iraq crisis. 

Mohammed al-Ikhani, member of the Supreme Council for the referendum of the Kurdistan Region, said that the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and more than once asked the President of the Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani, to postpone the referendum, saying Barzani refused to postpone the referendum. 

He added that the Arab League also requested dialogue with Baghdad before holding a referendum on September 25, Kurdistan, said Barzani told Ahmed Aboul Gheit that the delegation of Kurdistan will go to Baghdad after the referendum and not before.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the League of Arab States, arrived in Baghdad on Saturday and met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.


Barzani Abo-Gheit: to postpone the referendum on self-determinationBarzani Abo-Gheit: to postpone the referendum on self-determination



Each referendum movement calls for Kurds to vote “no” for ruling the royal family

Political Since 2017-09-09 at 18:24 (Baghdad time)


Baghdad Mawazine News

A member of the movement (both for the referendum at the present time) and the former MP in the Parliament of Kurdistan, Ismail Kalali, on Saturday, appealed to the Kurdish people to appeal to him to vote (both) for the independence of the Kurdistan region and make the twenty-fifth of September days to try and hold the corrupt who stole the wealth of the Kurds and confiscated their freedoms In the name of false independence.

He said Kalali during a statement read / Mawazine News / a copy of it, that the twenty-fifth of this month, will be the day of the major duel with the corrupt and colonial agents and killers of freedom as he put it, pointing out that he described as “stray and corrupt group began six And twenty years to achieve their interests through the exploitation of blood and fatigue and misery and the tears of the Kurdish people and steal his strength and freedoms. ”

These are just a group of political gangs, a group of blood and destruction traders, a bunch of corrupt cards in the hands of the regional powers, trying to play the balance of independence to steal your future, as they stole your freedom, ostentatiously in the name of false independence, Hired fighters of Turkey and other regional powers. ”

He added that “the twenty-fifth of this month should be the day of the Intifada against injustice and tyranny. This is a precious opportunity to make the fake referendum day a trial for the spoilers and thieves who looted our wealth. Let this day be the day of strict punishment before the eyes of the world. Their false heads, indicating the depth of political and rational knowledge. ”

“These dwarfs can not put down the light of thought and culture of our people in Kurdistan, when we say (both) that we are not the ones who can not stand up to the people of Kurdistan, We are breaking the tyranny of these tyrants. No word means that the hope and will of a people who fought and sacrificed their blood for freedom, justice and the spirit of tolerance among peoples will not be shaken. ”

“We say every word to the ruling of the royal family, not to the oil traders, neither to those who steal innocent people’s blood from the milk of children and medicine, both to a state that has become a puppet of neighboring countries and fights against the sons of other sections,” he said on September 25. From fragmented Kurdistan and launching attacks against its rebels in the territory of the motherland Kurdistan. ”

It is noteworthy that the movement (both at the present time) for the referendum in the Kurdistan region, led by (Shawwar Abdel Wahid), started in the city of Sulaymaniyah on the eighth of last August, with the participation of political figures, writers, journalists and activists in civil society, demanding the postponement of the referendum scheduled for the 25th of the month September with the suspension of the parliament of Kurdistan for about two years


Iraqi Kurds refuse to vote for independence

A Kurdish man hangs up a banner, urging people to vote in the September 25th independence referentum, in Erbil, Iraq September 5, 2017. REUTERS / Azad Lashkari
A Kurdish man hangs up a banner, urging people to vote in the September 25th independence referentum, in Erbil, Iraq September 5, 2017. REUTERS / Azad Lashkari

(Independent) .. No voice above the vote on independence, and whoever has a view other than this will be fate unknown, so live the Kurdistan region of Iraq, days before the referendum to secede from Iraq, who see his rejection of another point of view.

The British Middle East website reported stories of some rejecters of the idea of ​​the referendum, including Shazar Abdul Wahed who, as the originator of the campaign “Not Now” in Iraqi Kurdistan, voted to reject the proposal that the autonomous Kurdistan region become the first independent Kurdish state.

His position earned him many enemies. On Friday (8 September), gunmen stormed the offices of NRT, a news channel created by Abdel Wahed, and threatened to burn the building. They then climbed onto the roof of the building in the center of Erbil, ripped the canal logo and shouted, “Yes to the referendum!” While they were raising the flag of Kurdistan, according to the British website.

“I invite Massoud Barzani or any member of the referendum committee to a public debate on the referendum. Let’s see if they’re ready. “

Abdel Wahid and his allies have repeatedly received death threats and have been fearful of their lives since they declared their opposition to independence.

“The threats are still ongoing,” Abdul Wahid told the British Middle East.Me and my friends in a campaign are not now facing threats daily. One member of our campaign board was kidnapped in Sulaymaniyah. Security forces raided the house of another member. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also used the legal system to shut down NRT’s channel, especially local broadcasting, for a week. “

Will voting YES be a sign of disaster?

According to the British site, few believe that the vote of 25 September will not vote yes. Anyone who openly opposes Kurdish nationalist aspirations is at great risk, especially after the public condemnation of the vote by Iran and Turkey, the opponents of the old Kurds.

But Abdel Wahid and others expressed deep concerns that the vote was related to President Massoud Barzani’s attempt to strengthen his base and preserve his power by stirring nationalist sentiment ahead of the parliamentary elections, rather than with the independence of the Kurdistan region.

The “Not Now” campaign was launched on August 8 by a news conference in Sulaymaniyah, the opposition stronghold.

“We at” not now “believe that the referendum does not serve the basic interests of the people of the Kurdistan region. This referendum is not a step towards independence and the formation of a democratic state, but a serious historical mistake that will result in the abortion of this goal, which will lead to further division. “ He added: “This referendum will draw our nation into a bloody military conflict and lead to disaster,” according to the British site.

The movement has not yet said it has been barred from registering observers for the referendum, while NTR, which has been a thorn in Barzani’s throat, has been banned from broadcasting.

While the majority of political parties supported the referendum when it was announced in June, the Iraqi Kurdish Change Movement, the second largest party in parliament, was angry at the basic debate and denounced the referendum as “illegal,” as did the Kurdistan Islamic Group, Citing the absence of Kurdish political unity, according to the British site.

Meanwhile, the Turkmen-Iraq Front, which was formed to represent Turkmen Iraqis in the Kurdistan region, also opposed the vote, largely because of concerns about the protection of their national rights.

Many in the Kurdistan region, even those in favor of independence, have become concerned about the monopoly of power by Barzani and the KDP.

Barzani, whose father was Mustafa and one of the top Kurdish nationalist leaders, has ruled the Kurdistan region since his official recognition as an autonomous region in 2005, and his family’s dominance over Iraqi Kurdish politics for decades.

“The current ruling elite has been in office for the last 26 years because it used revolutionary (legitimacy). They want to use the referendum to remain in power for another 25 years and hand it over to their families. “

“We can not allow that to happen. We did not fight Saddam for that. We have sacrificed the lives of our loved ones to build a free and democratic regime, not a monarchy. “

Erbil and Baghdad .. not the best friends

A few years ago, in 2010 specifically, Western observers praised Iraq’s Kurdistan as “New Dubai”. They predicted it would become a secular flourishing entity and would become an example of democracy in the Middle East, unlike Old Dubai, as the rest of Iraq descended into sectarian violence following the 2003 US-led invasion.

But the increase in corruption, the collapse of oil prices and the rise of the Islamic State Organization (Da’sh) in 2014 have weakened the hopes of many in relation to this nascent state.

Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP) officials have been blaming other factors for the budget crisis in the Kurdistan region, particularly Baghdad.

The Iraqi government suspended constitutional transfers from the federal budget to the Kurdistan region in 2014, after the Kurds began to export oil independently through pipelines to Turkey.

The budget of the Kurdistan region has been further strained by the need to fund Peshmerga fighters fighting for more than two million refugees, who now make up at least a quarter of the population of more than 10 million.

Barzani has also used these many crises to justify the parliament’s failure to meet since October 2015. This absence of legislative oversight is a key factor in opposing the Kurran referendum for independence, which it says needs the approval of parliamentarians.

On 4 August, the Kuran Movement and the Kurdistan Islamic Group issued a statement reaffirming their call for a postponement of the referendum. “The two parties stress the need to abolish the austerity measures and the necessary efforts to improve life,” the joint statement said. The referendum should be postponed to another appropriate time, and the Parliament must enact the necessary laws and carry out the monitoring process. The two parties emphasize their willingness to hold serious talks aimed at resolving the crisis, “according to Middle East.

The other main Kurdish force, the PKK, expressed its criticism of the referendum, although these criticisms did not reach the level of open opposition.

The PKK, created in 1978 to oppose the government, is an old opponent of Barzani’s opponents and the KDP. The party publicly opposed the principle of an independent Kurdish state since the beginning of the century.

However, current party leader Jamil Paik described the referendum as a “democratic right”. The spokesman for the PKK, Zagros Hihwa, told the Middle East website that his organization would avoid involvement in any possible repercussions and said he hoped “no clashes”.

“Such clashes are not in the interest of the people of Kurdistan and all the people of Iraq. Our line of struggle is related to the defense of democratic freedoms and rights. We will not take sides in national and sectarian conflicts or power-sharing or oil-power struggles. “

Michael Knights, a fellow at the Washington Foundation, said the momentum behind the referendum could not be stopped now, and attempts to delay or modify its date would eventually fail.

“They are involved, because it is very difficult for anyone to confront Kurdish nationalism after its rise,” Gates said.I mean, what will you do? Do you vote? “

“Once the vote is held on September 25, you have to get out of the way or pretend, and eventually get out of the way as well.”

Gates added that even some of Barzani’s advisers had conceded that September 25 was not the ideal date for the referendum, “but they made it clear that there would never be an ideal timing for that, and no one suggested an alternative timing.”

Will there be a democratic state?

Tensions between Erbil and Baghdad have escalated as the referendum approaches. Although Gates has made it clear that Baghdad and Iraqi Arabs in general are more receptive to the inevitability of Kurdish independence from Tehran or Ankara, the political implications can still be dangerous, according to the British website.

A number of disputed territories, notably Sinjar and Kirkuk, are likely to be a major sticking point between Baghdad and Erbil.

Barzani rebuked Iraq early this week, saying it was a “religious and sectarian state” and said he had “made a big mistake when he went to Baghdad with a clear intention” after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

“We have voluntarily gone to Baghdad,” Barzani said on Thursday (September 6th). Did not accept the partnership, and therefore should not complain today .. We leave Iraq voluntarily. “

Barzani added that, despite the assumptions of many observers and many of the people of Kurdistan, he will not run for president again, in the event of elections, but will step down from office immediately after independence.

Despite all the difficulties Abdul Wahid faces, he is determined to continue to express his position. “I am fighting for a free and democratic state,” Abdul Wahid said. “This is the country for which the Peshmerga fought and whose martyrs sacrificed their lives for it. This referendum is premature and has not been prepared in recent years. The referendum should have been a tool for uniting people and political parties, but it did the opposite. “

Source: Half Post Arabic


Barzani receives Secretary General of the League of Arab States


By Azad Jumkari 2 hours ago

Rhodeau – Arbil

The President of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, on Saturday evening, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, after his arrival in the region through Erbil International Airport from Baghdad.

“The Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit arrived this afternoon, to Erbil International Airport from Baghdad,” he said, adding that “a number of officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government They were greeted. “

It is noteworthy that the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States had arrived earlier Saturday, to Baghdad on an official visit, and met immediately upon his arrival Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi.

The visit of Aboul Gheit aims to support the chances of dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad and find solutions to the outstanding problems between the two parties.


Aboul Gheit reaches Erbil


Aboul Gheit reaches Arbil
10 minutes ago

The Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on Saturday, to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region from Baghdad.

A source familiar with the airport Arbil Shafak News, the arrival of Aboul Gheit, who will meet the President of the Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani to discuss the issue of the referendum on independence from Iraq.

Abul-Gheit met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi during the meeting, stressing the Arab League’s keenness to unite Iraq and not raise any problems that undermine its security, stability and unity.

Aboul Gheit has already sent a letter to Barzani asking him to postpone the referendum.

The press sources also talked about efforts by Aboul Gheit to mediate between Baghdad and Erbil to defuse the outstanding differences between the two sides for many years.

Barzani has repeatedly stressed the region’s intention to proceed with the referendum scheduled for 25 of this month.




Abul-Gheit policy Abadi applauds the position of the Arab League on the “unity of Iraq”

Aboul Gheit informs Abadi the position of the Arab League of "unity of Iraq"
5 minutes ago

The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Prime Minister Haider Abadi on Saturday, the Arab League’s keenness on the unity of Iraq in reference to implicit objection to the referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan Region.

This came during the reception of Abadi in his office to Aboul Gheit, who arrived earlier in the day to Baghdad on an official visit also includes the Kurdistan Region.

A statement issued by Al-Abadi’s office said to Ashqaf News that during the meeting, “they discussed the developments in the political and security situation in Iraq and the region, the fight against terrorism and the victories achieved by the terrorist gangs.”

The statement added that Aboul Gheit renewed “the Arab League’s keenness on the unity of Iraq and not raise any problems destabilizing its security and stability and unity and focus on completing the liberation of its territory and the adoption of the principle of dialogue and commitment to the Iraqi constitution to resolve any problems.”




PM Media Office


رئيس مجلس الوزراء الدكتور حيدر العبادي يستقبل الامين العام للجامعة العربية السيد احمد ابو الغيط والوفد المرافق له.

Translated from Arabic by Bing

The Prime Minister Haydar Al-Abadi meets Arabic League Secretary General Mr Ahmed Aboul Gheit and his entourage.


Referendum illegitimate without parliamentary act, says speaker



By Rudaw24/8/2017
This file photo shows Kurdistan parliament speaker Yousif Mohammed addresses a conference in Erbil in August 2015. Photo: Rudaw/Farzin Hassan
This file photo shows Kurdistan parliament speaker Yousif Mohammed addresses a conference in Erbil in August 2015. Photo: Rudaw/Farzin Hassan
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – The Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Yousif Mohammed said next month’s independence referendum will lack “legitimacy” if it goes ahead without an act from the currently suspended parliament.
Mohammed made the remarks during a meeting with civil society members in Sulaimani where he has been practicing some of his powers as parliamentary speaker since the legislature was suspended by the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in October 2015.
“The referendum is an important and crucial issue,” Mohammed said, according to a statement from his office. “Without a discussion inside the parliament hall, the referendum will not have legitimacy from a legal point of view.”
He said the issue of the referendum and eventually declaring an independent state of Kurdistan is a “national matter” that should bring all parties together instead of causing “disagreement and feuding” between them.
Mohammed is a member of the Change or Gorran Movement, the second-largest party in the parliament with 24 seats, following the KDP’s 38 seats.
The High Referendum Council that is led by President Masoud Barzani and includes all parties of Kurdistan except for Gorran and the Islamic Group (Komal), decided late last month that the parliament should be reactivated within two weeks, but that never came to pass. Gorran and the KDP are in talks to work out their differences before heading to the parliament.
Gorran released a five-point statement about two weeks ago that mainly called for the parliament to be activated and the referendum postponed until the time is right.
KDP and Gorran most recently met on Monday to discuss issues between them including the referendum, but there are no signs they made any progress.
Barzani has said that debating the date of the referendum is out of the question. He has remained in power despite the expiration of his term in office two years ago – the main cause of the rift between his KDP and Gorran.
Meanwhile, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the third largest party in Kurdistan, is expected to meet with Gorran to push one last time for a negotiated end to the political stalemate.
The PUK has an alliance with both KDP and Gorran and is a leading party behind the referendum. It said in a statement on Wednesday that it “is insistent on the reactivation of Kurdistan’s parliament before the referendum is held.”
Gorran and Komal have so far refused to attend meetings related to the referendum. The two parties have said that the Kurdistan parliament has to first be reactivated and then pass a law to call the referendum.
Hoshyar Zebari, a senior KDP member, told Rudaw in June that the legitimacy of the Kurdistan referendum is “more valid” if the Kurdistan parliament is active and functioning, but added that they have asked “many legal and international law experts” and all have come to the conclusion that “this is an executive and administrative decision and therefore does not need a law on this matter.”
In October 2015, security forces in Erbil, who are largely under the control of the KDP, blocked the speaker from returning to the capital.
The KDP also sacked Gorran ministers from the broad-based Kurdistan Regional Government, including the ministers of finance and Peshmerga.