The Iraqi Kurdistan has received de facto independence since 1992, yet the status was never documented de jure, Ambassador Arman Navasardyan told reporters on Tuesday, commenting on the upcoming referendum declared by Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government and a bid to become a subject of international law.
Navasardyan reminded that great powers voice strong objections to the referendum planned on September 25.
“We know about the existence of four Kurdish enclaves – in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. All of those countries fear the ‘domino effect’ of the referendum that the vote can provoke spillover effect on regional countries and bolster separatist movements,” the diplomat said, adding the referendum conduct is still under threat amid the growing disturbances especially from Turkey and the accumulation of forces at the Iraqi border.
To remind, Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East but they have never obtained a permanent nation state. In Iraq, where they make up an estimated 15% to 20% of the population of 37 million. Three months ago, top officials and political parties in the Kurdistan Regional Government agreed to hold an advisory referendum on independence, strongly rejected by Iraqi government.