Iraqi Kurdistan will never materialise, despite referendum

The majority of Iraqi Kurds - 92 percent - have voted for their independence having thus expressed a desire to create an independent state, the High Elections and Referendum Commission said on Wednesday, September 27. A new country - Iraqi Kurdistan - may appear on the map of the world, but even before the referendum it was clear that no leading country of the world would recognise the results of the vote.

The USA, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and even the central government of Iraq show rare unity on the matter. All these countries in one form or another support the following idea: the territorial integrity of Iraq must be preserved, and the status of Iraqi Kurdistan should be determined as a result of a dialogue with the central government in Baghdad.

Maxim Maksimov, Russia's Ambassador to Iraq, said: "We have repeatedly said that we support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. Any decisions that concern the unity of Iraq should be a consequence of the process of negotiations - in this case between Baghdad and Erbil (Erbil is the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan - ed.)."

Turkey's warning was tougher. "This is the last time, when we call on the Iraqi Kurdistan to refuse from the referendum," Turkish Vice-Premier Bekir Bozdag said on the eve of the vote. "The referendum must be canceled completely once and for all, he added.

Turkey will not let the leader of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masud Barzani, use the issue of the status of the autonomy as a bargaining tool. "Bargaining here is out of place," Turkish officials are convinced.

Earlier, media adviser to the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Kifakh Sinjari, said that Iraqi Kurds wanted Turkey to respect the outcome of the referendum and start a discussion on the delimitation of borders, issues of water resources, and conduct negotiations about disputed territories, which include Kirkuk, Sinjar and other territories.

It goes without saying that neither Baghdad nor Ankara can accept the above-mentioned requirements. Moscow and Washington will not be willing to discuss any of those requirements either.

Why do such countries as Turkey and Russia, the United States and Iran reject the aspiration to independence of the Iraqi Kurds? The answer is simple. If the world community gives a "green light" to the appearance of a new state on the world map - Iraqi Kurdistan - an unpredictable chain reaction may occur. Iraqi Kurdistan may trigger the domino effect and millions of Kurds living in Turkey, Iran and Syria will also want to create their own state.

Such a development may disrupt the already fragile stability in the Middle East, and world leaders in Moscow, Washington, Ankara, Teheran do not want this to happen.

Aydin Mehtiyev

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov