A transcript of an interview Saturday 16th. of September 2017 with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi by The Associated Press.
AP: Thank you mister prime minister for having The Associated Press here in Baghdad.
AP: I’m going to start off by asking you about the referendum that is upcoming in the Kurdish region in Iraq. It appears the referendum is going to go ahead as planned on Sept. 25 and if it is held, I’m interested in what your response will be.
Al-Abadi: Well our position is that it is unconstitutional, it is illegal, there is nothing that will be taken seriously out of it. It’s like taking public opinion but for us it is illegal, it clearly contradicts the constitution. And especially when it’s done with a vision that there is a problem within the region itself, the Kurdish region. The parliament hasn’t been held for 22 months, so there is a constitutional, legal crisis inside the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) and this is a very, very bad move for the Kurdish population, the Iraqi Kurdish population.
AP: But how will you respond to the vote?
Al-Abadi: We are resorting to all legal process we have at our disposal. I think we are submitting to the federal court about the legality, the parliament has ruled this as illegal. The government has ruled this as illegal and unconstitutional and we are within one Iraq. This constitution has been voted on by all Iraqi people including our Kurdish Iraqi population so I think to challenge the constitution in this manner will come to nothing. If you challenge the constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, then there will not be … this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well would be a very dangerous escalation.
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