Iraqi Kurdistan leader Massoud Karzani says “the time is here” for Kurdish self-determination.
The president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region signaled Monday that the country’s Kurds are ready to seek independence, as Sunni insurgents gained greater ground and Iraq slid toward civil war.
“It is the time now for the Kurdistan people to determine their future, and the decision of the people is what we are going to uphold,” Massoud Barzani said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the strongest statements he has made regarding independence.
“During the last 10 years we did everything in our ability, we made every effort and we showed political stability in order to build a new democratic Iraq, but unfortunately the experience has not been successful they way that it should have,” he said.
“That’s why I believe that after the recent events in Iraq it has been proven that the Kurdish people should seize the opportunity now,” he pointed out.
Iraq’s northern Kurdistan Region, comprising the three Kurdish provinces of Erbil, Sulaimani and Duhok, has been autonomous for more than 20 years. It has an estimated population of five million, and its own government, parliament, constitution and army.