Several EU Countries Have Already Welcomed the Planned Kurdistan Independence Referendum

Photo by Håkan Dahlström

The referendum on the independence of the Iraqi Kurdistan is scheduled on September 25, 2017. So far many countries expressed their stances on the issue. Below let’s refer to the EU countries, which at different levels welcomeդ the decision to organize a referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Jan Jambon, after his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), noted:

“In a democracy, it is normal that you support what is the meaning of the majority of the people. But it is not yet said it will be the majority but I think you can do anything else when nations [are] expressing themselves to validate what is the result of this expression,” NRT reports.

However, it should also be noted that Belgian ambassador to Iraq Hendrik Van de Velde stated that Belgium did not have an official stance on this issue, Middle East Research Institute reports.

After the meeting with the Dutch Consul-General, Janet Alberda, in Kurdistan with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK’s) First Deputy Secretary-General, Kosrat Rasul, the Dutch official expressed support for the rights of the Kurdistan Region’s people, including holding a referendum.   However, Alberda also noted that a referendum on independence will receive greater support from international countries if the Kurdistan region cooperates with the government of Iraq on the issue, NRT reports.

 Deputy Marshal of the Polish Parliament, Stanislaw Tyszka and the leader of Kukiz 15′ (right-wing political movement in Poland) Pawel Kukiz  expressed their strong admirations for the bravery and sacrifices of the Kurdish people and reminded that Poland as well as other countries around the world approve the upcoming referendum in Kurdistan. As bas news reports, the statement came after Ziyad Raoof, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) representative to Poland met with the two Polish officials.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias stated that Iraq’s unity should be desired by the people themselves and that the Kurdish referendum is a right under the Iraqi constitution. On the occasion he particularly noted: “The Kurds should have the rights that the Republic of Cyprus intends to grant to the Turkish Cypriot community. Because at some point we have to compare what they are pursuing in Cyprus and what they are prepared to give to their own much larger communities within their country.”

Rezan Qader, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative to Italy, stated  the Italian government was not against the independence of Kurdistan and its official during several meetings expressed support for an imminent referendum on the region’s independence from Iraq, bas news reports.

Thus we can see that the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union, in the name of the Union, called to avoid “unilateral steps” and to engage with the federal government “in a constructive dialogue on all issues across the political and economic spectrum, including the disputed internal boundaries, “ RUDAW reports.