You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Iraqi Kurds to hold independence referendum on Sept 25

AFP  |  Arbil 

Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region will hold a referendum on statehood in September, its presidency said today, despite opposition to independence from Baghdad.

"September 25, 2017 was designated as the day for holding the referendum" on independence, the presidency said in a statement.

Iraqi Kurdistan is made up of three provinces that are run by an autonomous regional government and protected by their own security services, and there is broad support among Iraqi Kurds for the idea of an independent state.

But in practice, such a project would face major internal and external challenges that would threaten the viability of the fledgling nation.

The statement from the regional presidency highlighted one of the main issues, saying the referendum would be held "in the Kurdistan region and areas of Kurdistan outside the administration of the region".

This is a reference to swathes of northern territory that are claimed by both Kurdistan and Baghdad, including the key oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

There would be opposition in Baghdad to the three provinces that make up Kurdistan becoming independent, but that opposition would be vastly greater if the region tried to take disputed territory along with it, as it almost certainly would.

Internally, Iraqi Kurdistan has been hit hard by low oil prices, as it depends on revenue from crude sales to provide the vast majority of government funds.

And while the concept of Kurdish independence has broad appeal, Iraqi Kurds are deeply divided politically to the point that a new state could be paralysed by such divisions.

There is also the issue of regional opposition: Turkey, Syria and Iran also have substantial Kurdish populations, and these countries could oppose Iraqi Kurdish independence out of fear that it would inspire similar moves at home.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, June 07 2017. 22:48 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU