ERBIL, Iraq – The United States has asked Iraqi Kurdistan to postpone an independence referendum scheduled for Sept. 25, the government of the autonomous region in northern Iraq said on Friday.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the request Friday in a telephone call to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, according to a statement from the regional government.
Barzani responded by asking Washington’s top diplomat to suggest alternative mechanisms or guarantees to ensure the Iraqi Kurds’ right to self-determination, the statement said.
Barzani told Tillerson that Kurdistan’s bid for peaceful coexistence with the rest of Iraq had failed, leading the people of the region to decide on another path.
The Kurdish leader likewise informed Tillerson that a high-ranking delegation from Kurdistan was set to visit Baghdad soon to address remaining issues about a referendum which the Iraqi government considers unconstitutional.