Mulla Bukhtiyar, head of political office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), attends a news conference after a meeting of the three main Kurdish parties in the region in Erbil, Iraq on Sept. 12, 2017. The Kurdish parties on Tuesday expressed their regret for the Iraqi parliament's decision to reject the independence referendum of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region slated for Sept. 25. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
ARBIL, Iraq, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Kurdish parties on Tuesday expressed their regret for the Iraqi parliament decision to reject the independence referendum of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region slated for Sept. 25.
"The leaders of the main Kurdish parties regretted the Iraqi parliament's decision against the referendum in Kurdistan and the authorization of Abadi (Iraqi Prime Minister) to take all measures to preserve Iraq's unity, including the use of military force," Mulla Bukhtiyar, head of political office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said at a news conference after a meeting of the three main Kurdish parties in the region.
Bukhtiyar interpreted the parliament decision of "taking all measures" as using military force, however the parliament decision did not literally mentioned using military force.
"The logic of the use of arms in solving problems is very dangerous in the democratic Iraq," Bukhtiyar said, adding the Kurdish parties "called for calm conditions."
"We have an agreement with the Iraqi government sponsored by the United States that prevents the intervention of armed forces in solving the problems of Iraq," said Bukhtiyar who is also authorized to speak on behalf of the meeting of the three Kurdish parties.
The PUK, with Iraqi President Fuad Masoum being a leading figure, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), headed by the regional President Masoud Barzani, and Goran Movement, the largest opposition party in the region, had held a meeting during the day to convince Goran to participate in the referendum.
They agreed that the meeting will continue for the coming days to take unified stand toward the issue of referendum.
Earlier in the day, the Iraqi parliament voted on a draft of law rejecting the Kurdish independence referendum, putting obligation on Abadi to "take all measures that preserve the unity of Iraq and start a serious dialogue to address outstanding issues between Baghdad and the Kurdish region."
Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurdish leading figure and former Iraq's Finance and Foreign Minister, said earlier in an interview with Xinhua that the referendum will be held on Sept. 25, after all the official bodies in the region completed their preparations in all aspects of security and logistics.
On June 7, the Kurdish President Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on Sept. 25.
The independence of Kurdistan is expected to be opposed by some countries because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and it comes as the Iraqi forces are in fight against terrorism, including the Islamic State (IS) militant group.