Kirkuk governor sacked over Kurd independence vote

Kurdish men march in support of the independence referendum carrying
Kurdish men march in support of the independence referendum carrying
Author

17 September, 2017

An worldwide delegation, including the United States, Britain and UN envoys, met with Barzani and presented the alternative path for the controversial independence referendum.

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

To remind, Masoud Barzani has recently announced that the referendum on independence scheduled for 25 September will not be postponed and he is ready to start a dialogue with Baghdad.

"We still haven't heard a proposal that can be an alternative to the Kurdistan referendum", he said.

A "yes" vote in the independence referendum would not spell immediate independence for the Kurdish region, since the referendum does not have legal force. On Thursday, Iraq's parliament voted to remove Karim from his post, a decision he summarily dismissed.

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Oil-rich Kirkuk is home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Christians. "This referendum is not legitimate and we do not recognize it", said main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Spokesperson Bulent Tezcan on Wednesday.

Kurds across the Kurdistan Region and overseas gathered in a show of solidarity for the historic independence vote.

Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population and is battling Kurdish insurgents, opposes the Kurds' moves toward independence and has voiced strong backing to Iraq's territorial integrity. But relations with Baghdad have grown strained in recent years over oil and the disputed areas.

There are also questions over the leadership of Barzani, who was supposed to step down three years ago at the end of his two terms as president before receiving a controversial extension.

Even the United States, which initially endorsed the referendum, has warned against dire consequences of the KRG's unilateral declaration of independence.


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