Turkey, Iraq work together to prevent KRG referendum
- Author: Ryan Wade Sep 17, 2017,
Sep 17, 2017, 0:49
The White House urged Iraq's Kurdish leaders to cancel the September 25 vote on independence, saying the move is a distraction from the efforts to defeat Daesh.
Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Yildirim said the vote could ignite a new conflict in Iraq as the region is already gripped by many other problems, local channel Haber Turk reported.
"That is why the United Kingdom has proposed new talks between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Government of Iraq on the future of the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad", said the Saturday statement, adding that such talks should be time limited and address all the issues of dispute between the two parties without preconditions.
The U.K. "does not support" the "aspiration" of northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to hold a controversial referendum on independence from Baghdad, the Foreign Office said Saturday.
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Critics of the vote, including the United States and the European Union and even some members of Iraq's 5.5 million-strong Kurdish minority, say it could distract from the fight against jihadists.
The referendum is planned to be held in Kurdistan and disputed areas including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. "However, it seems that Masoud Barzani is highly determined", the analyst said.
The blast comes as Kurdish leaders prepare to hold an independence referendum on September 25 in the face of fierce opposition from Baghdad and the Kurds' global backers.
"We still haven't heard a proposal that can be an alternative to the Kurdistan referendum", he said.
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Earlier, the two major Kurdish parties of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced that the Parliament session, originally scheduled on Thursday, would be delayed to late Friday to convince Goran Movement and the Islamic group to attend the first parliament session in two years.
"Those assembled in parliament today think this is a lawful session, but this is unlawful", Birzu Majeed, the head of Gorran's parliamentary block, told a news conference held while parliament was in session.
Kirkuk is home to sizeable Arab and Turkmen populations and lies outside the official boundaries of the Kurdistan region. Supporters of the referendum argue Kurds deserve their own state after fighting IS and facing years of oppression at the hands of governments in Baghdad, including gassing and ethnic cleansing under former dictator Saddam Hussein.
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