The decision to hold an independence referendum in Kurdistan will not be changed reiterated Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani, as he insisted his government would continue to pursue friendly relations with neighbours.
The Daily Sabah reports Mr Barzani as stating, "the Kurdish leadership has made that decision and there is no turning back."
"We don't want to repeat the failed experience of the last 100 years with Iraq, which is filled with tragedies,” he added.” The neighbouring countries must understand this and we've explained to them that we are a force for stability and security in the region."
The announcement of the referendum has stirred opposition from neighbouring Turkey, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu having recently spoken out against the move.
However, Mr Barzani insists his government would continue to seek friendly relations with all neighbouring regions. The referendum "does not mean war against any neighbouring country,” he said.
“We seek good relations with them, especially Turkey."