Parliament in Irbil backs independence referendum

Parliament in Irbil backs independence referendum

The Parliament of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan convened for the first time after two years of suspension, and is scheduled to discuss referendum on independence of the Kurdish region.

"To date, we have not received an alternative that can replace the referendum, the alternative that we wanted was not offered", he said.

"The United States does not support the Kudish Regional Government's (KRG) intention to hold a referendum later this month", the White House said in a statement.

On June 7, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on September 25.

It urged the KRG to "enter into serious and sustained dialogue with Baghdad, which the United States has repeatedly indicated it is prepared to facilitate".

An worldwide delegation, including the US, Britain and United Nations envoys, met with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and presented the alternative path for the controversial independence referendum.

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The Kurdish Regional Government is embroiled in long-standing disputes with the federal government over oil exports, budget payments and control of ethnically divided areas. Iraq now eyes a full liberation of its western and northern territories from Daesh.

Kirkuk has always been the center of dispute between Baghdad and the Kurds, raising the prospect that conflict could erupt between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds. Major regional powers, including Iran and Turkey, have opposed the plan.

Meanwhile, Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary groups have threatened to dislodge the Kurdish forces from the Kirkuk region, which is due to take part in the referendum.

Earlier Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country plans to hold a high-level security meeting on September 22 to decide what response to take over the Kurdish referendum, accused leaders of Iraq's autonomous region of "serious political inaptitude" for going ahead with plans to hold the vote. He added though that President Barzani did not ake the finalk decision since it is a decision left to the Kurdish parties to make, including Barzani's KDP. Irbil and Baghdad have always been in disagreement over oil revenues and contracts the Kurdistan region has signed with oil companies.

The Kurdish region's parliament decision Friday appears to be a rebuff of that alternative. Gorran wants elections, restoration of the constitution and for Barzani to step down.

"Even if the independence referendum is held, Baghdad will not recognize its outcome". It is also created to strengthen Barzani's position as a Kurdish nationalist leader.

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