Iraqi Kurdish Officials Postpone Secession Referendum

Say They'll Give New Unity Govt a Chance

Officials with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) say they are postponing their plans to hold a referendum on secession from Iraq, and will instead work on forming a new Iraqi government.

That’s good news for PM-designate Hayder Abadi, who is trying to form a new unity government to replace Nouri al-Maliki. Abadi has been trying to get the support of both what remaining Sunni Arab MPs there are, and the Kurds.

Abadi had previously served as head of the Finance Committee, and had several major fights with Kurdish MPs over oil revenue sharing, a problem that still remains unresolved.

Still, even getting the Kurds to give him a chance is a big step, though Kurdish officials say they’re giving Iraqi unity “one last chance,” and any stumbling blocks that happen are likely to give way to a new secessionist push.

The Kurds are keen to negotiate some significant concessions, and the status of the city of Kirkuk is likely to be one of the issues. That, and the oil revenue dispute are both major hurdles to getting the Kurds on board for unity.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.