Friday, 24 November, 2017

Kurdish leaders studying western delegation plan to delay referendum

Israel endorses independent Kurdish state Israel Supports an Independent State of the Kurds
Dexter Carr | 15 September, 2017, 00:32

An Iraqi lawmaker says parliament has dismissed the Kurdish governor of Iraq's ethnically-mixed Kirkuk province upon a request from the prime minister.

He said he has the full backing of his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, his party's office in the province, and all Kurdish parties.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Kurdish region of Iraq, Massoud Barzani, said the referendum is "a natural right".

Ankara has in recent years forged strong ties with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq but is extremely wary of any move towards independence by the region.

"The [Kurdish region] should be aware that there will most certainly be a price to pay for insisting on its approach for a referendum despite all our friendly recommendations", the statement said, without elaborating.

Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), announced the vote on Twitter on June 7.

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Baghdad and Iraq's neighbours are opposed to the referendum and earlier this week the Iraqi parliament authorised Abadi to "take all measures" to preserve national unity.

Ownership of Kirkuk has always been disputed between Iraq and the Kurdish authorities.

Jaafari said the global community must offer financial and other support to Iraq for the rebuilding of Mosul and other cities retaken from Islamic State.

But hours later at a pro-referendum rally in Zakho, Barzani told those gathered that they would vote on September 25 as planned, according to local media.

"While Israel rejects terror in any form, it supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own", a statement from Israeli prime minister's office said.

Turkey has the region's largest Kurdish population and fears a "Yes" vote could fuel separatism in its southeast where Kurdish militants have waged an insurgency for three decades in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

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