“The Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu )made a statement on Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum on 24 October 2017”


The  Estonian Parliament Riigikogu passed the Statement on Iraqi Kurdistan Independence Referendum, submitted by 27 members of the Riigikogu. The Statement emphasises the need to solve all disputes between the Government of the Republic of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government by negotiations and avoid the escalation of an armed conflict.

43 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Statement, nobody was against and three members of the Riigikogu abstained.

The Riigikogu assures in the Statement that it respects the territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq, as long as preserving it will not bring along violent suppression of the human and political rights of the Kurdish minority in Iraq. It also understands the legitimate aspirations of the Kurdish people to exercise their right to national self-determination.

The Riigikogu invites all parties to maintain a peaceful, transparent, democratic and mutually respectful attitude after Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, and calls on all countries of the region not to interfere with the internal affairs of the Republic of Iraq.

The Riigikogu also calls on the Government of the Republic of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to solve the issue of the status of Iraqi Kurdistan after the referendum by negotiations.

The Riigikogu expresses hope that the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum of 25 September will be a step in non-violent resolution of the status of the Kurdish minority in Iraq by reconciling the people’s right to self-determination and the principle of territorial integrity.

The statement recalls that the right of people to self-determination, which was the basis for establishing the Republic of Estonia in 1918, is a fundamental principle of international law which continues to be in force through the Charter of the United Nations.

The initiators of the Statement assure that the Republic of Estonia respects the principle of territorial integrity. The borders of states can be changed only peacefully, through democratic, free and equal expressions of will by nations. Estonia always strives for peaceful resolution of conflicts.

The Statement also recalls that 20 citizens of the Republic of Estonia have perished or been wounded in defending the democracy of Iraq since 2003.

The Statement of the Riigikogu “On Iraqi Kurdistan Independence Referendum” (516 AE) was initiated by members of the Riigikogu Eerik-Niiles Kross, Andres Herkel, Kalle Palling, Johannes Kert, Artur Talvik, Lauri Luik, Maris Lauri, Ain Lutsepp, Kristen Michal, Ants Laaneots, Madis Milling, Kalle Laanet, Urmas Kruuse, Laine Randjärv, Remo Holsmer, Heidy Purga, Andres Ammas, Krista Aru, Külliki Kübarsepp, Monika Haukanõmm, Jaak Madison, Igor Gräzin, Valdo Randpere, Yoko Alender, Meelis Mälberg, Aivar Sõerd and Jüri Jaanson.

Krishan Chand

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