Kurdistan Region Parliament Approves Independence Referendum On September 25

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Kurdistan Region Parliament Approves Independence Referendum On September 25

General view of the Kurdistan Parliament meeting in Erbil, Iraq September 15, 2107. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

On September 15, an overwhelming majority of the members of the Kurdistan Region Parliament approved the Kurdistan Region independence referendum set to be held on September 25.

On September 12, the Iraqi Parliament had voted against the referendum making it illegal according to the Iraqi constitution.

Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani said earlier at a pro-referendum gathering in Amedi area that the people of Kurdistan do not take orders from the Iraqi parliament that has sidelined the Kurdish minority.

“We also tell them [the Iraqi Parliament] that your decision will not reach Kurdistan. So don’t even bother,” Barzani said at the gathering.

Barzani also said that no alternative has been offered that can replace the independence referendum. This means that the Kurdistan Region Government refused the alternative plane proposed the US, UN and the UK on September 14.

In a related development, Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi received a call from his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim. During the call Yildirim stated the Turkish rejection of the upcoming Kurdistan Region independence referendum, according to an official statement of the Iraqi Prime Minister Office.

Furthermore, Yildirim expressed concerns that the referendum is a danger to “the security of the region and the safety of its people,” during the call. Yildirim also “affirmed Turkey’s support for all the steps taken by the Iraqi government to preserve the unity of Iraq,” according to the official statement.

The Kurdistan Region independence referendum might force the region conflicting countries Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq to work together against the possible independent Kurdistan. In such case Kurdistan Region might find itself under a siege if it declares independence.

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