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Iraqi Parliament Rejects Kurdish Referendum Plan

Iraqi Parliament Rejects Kurdish Referendum PlanIraqi Parliament Rejects Kurdish Referendum Plan

Iraq’s Parliament voted on Tuesday to reject an Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum planned for Sept. 25, authorizing the prime minister to take all measures to preserve Iraq’s unity, a lawmaker said.

“Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the session but the decision to reject the referendum was passed by a majority,” Mohammed al-Karbouli said, Reuters reported.

Kurdish lawmaker Majid Shingali said Kurds would reject the decision.

“This decision has no value and we will not implement it,” he told Reuters.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government had previously rejected the referendum as unilateral and unconstitutional.

The United States and other western nations fear the September vote in Iraqi Kurdistan could ignite a new conflict with Baghdad and possibly neighboring countries, diverting attention from the war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

The decision to hold the referendum has met opposition from regional states, including Iran and Turkey, as well as others such as Russia, Germany.

Iraqi Kurdistan is a landlocked region heavily dependent on its neighbors.

  Vote Non-Binding

The vote by Iraq’s Parliament to reject the results of this month’s Iraqi Kurdish independence vote was non-binding, a high-ranking Kurdish official told Reuters on Tuesday.

“The Kurdish parliament will definitely have a response to the resolution when it convenes on Thursday,” said Hoshyar Zebari, former Iraqi foreign and finance minister and now a senior adviser to Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani.

Zebari said Kurdish lawmakers would convene for the first time since October 2015.

 

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