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By the people

Oct 28,2017 - Last updated at Oct 28,2017

In an effort to reestablish bridges between Baghdad and Erbil, after the September 25 referendum in which some 90 per cent of the Kurdish population voted for separation of the Kurdish area, Iraq regained all territories in the north it had lost first to Daesh and then to the Kurdish peshmerga, which was ruled by the Kurdistan Regional Government for the past three years, the two sides are trading offers that still fall short of what each side wanted as a condition for the resumption of dialogue.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi insists that KRG must first declare the disputed referendum null and void before talks can resume.

KRG made a counter offer: to “freeze” the referendum, whatever that means.

Neither side is reckoning with the uncontested fact that the referendum did indeed take place and neither side can dispose of it as it pleases.

And neither side offers a viable way out.

The referendum is now a historical fact that can be neither declared null nor put in deep freeze except by the Kurdish people who took part in it.

Baghdad and Erbil must now seek other solutions, involving the people living in the Kurdish area, not bypassing them.

The only sensible thing for the two sides to do is to hold another plebiscite, on the basis of the Iraqi constitution and on a platform that calls for the unity of a federated state of Iraq.

 

Only a follow up referendum can override the one of September 25. It can take place after a cooling period and the restoration of normal relations between  two camps, perhaps to the level of the status quo ante.

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