Iraq's Kurdistan says to respect court ruling of banning secession

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 15, 2017
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The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Tuesday said it would respect a ruling by the Iraqi federal court, which said that the constitution does not permit separation of any Iraqi community.

"We respect the interpretation of the Supreme Court for Article 1 of the constitution. At the same time, we affirm our belief that this should be the basis for initiating a comprehensive national dialogue to resolve disputes by applying all constitutional articles," the KRG said in a statement.

On November 6, the Iraqi Supreme Court issued a verdict clarifying the articles of the Iraqi constitution that "have underlined the unity of Iraq" and that "no text in the constitution allows the secession of any of its (Iraq's) components."

The verdict came as a response to a request by the Baghdad government to end the "misinterpretation" of the articles of the Iraqi constitution.

According to the first article of the Iraqi constitution, "the republic of Iraq is a single federal, independent and fully sovereign state, in which the system of government is republican, representative (parliamentary) and democratic, and this constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq."

The KRG statement said "we believe that this (federal court) ruling must become a basis for starting a comprehensive dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve all disputes through implementation of all constitutional articles in a way that guarantees all rights, authorities and status mentioned in the constitution, since this is the only way to secure the unity of Iraq."

On November 7, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) urged the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan to respect the ruling of the Iraqi federal court that confirmed the unity of Iraq.

"UNAMI urges the government of the Kurdistan region of Iraq to acknowledge, endorse and respect this ruling of the federal court and reiterate its full commitment to the constitution," the UN statement said.

The statement also reiterated the urgent need for political negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil, and reconfirmed its readiness to play a facilitating role in this dialogue and these negotiations, if requested by both sides.

Tensions have been running high between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held a controversial referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas on Sept. 25.

The independence of Kurdistan is opposed not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by other countries as it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and undermine the fight against IS militants.

Iraq's neighboring countries, especially Turkey, Iran and Syria, fear that the Iraqi Kurds' pursuit of independence threatens their territorial integrity, as large Kurdish populations live in those countries.

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