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‘The right time to allow people to express self-determination’ - KRG

The people of Kurdistan should be allowed to express their right to self-determination, said the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative to the US, defending the decision to hold an independence referendum later this year.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman told The Canadian Press that the people of Kurdistan “have done our best to be partners in Iraq; it has not worked”.

“We believe this is the right time to allow the people of Kurdistan to exercise their democratic right, a right that people across the world have, to express their self-determination,” she continued.

She went on to call on Canada to support the referendum, noting that “as a state that has its own province of Quebec that has exercised the right to hold a referendum, I think it would be difficult for Canada to deny that right to the people of Kurdistan”.

However, she also warned that comparisons of the two situations must be carefully examined, stating that the relationship that Ottawa has with Quebec is vastly different to that of Baghdad and Erbil.
“Ottawa would never think to cut off the medicine supply to one of its provinces, even if it was a province that was a thorn in its side,” she said. “We’re trying to have an amicable divorce from Iraq. But this is not the same as Quebec having an amicable divorce from Canada.”

“We believe that the best way to reach our desired goal is to have a negotiated settlement with Baghdad, and a negotiated settlement means dialogue,” she continued.

“Encourage Baghdad to talk to us. Encourage us to talk to Baghdad in such a way that both sides can have a win-win result. If Canada can play that role, of course we would welcome it.”

See more from the National Post here.