Lawmakers of Kurdish region approve referendum

Iraq dismisses Kirkuk governor amid dispute with Kurds

Iraq dismisses Kirkuk governor amid dispute with Kurds

On Friday, the parliament of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region approved a plan to hold a referendum on independence on 25 September, ignoring Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish opposition as well as United States and Western concerns that the vote may cause new conflicts in the region.

"We've been waiting more than 100 years for this", Omed Khoshnaw, a lawmaker from the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDR) of KRG President Massoud Barzani said.

"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.

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 launched this petition to protest the council's failure to implement decisions taken by the central administration, represented by the Iraqi parliament", Mimaroglu said.

Analysts say the referendum plan, which has stirred Arab-Kurdish ethnic tensions, could mark the end of an era of cooperation during which Baghdad and Erbil battled IS after its seizure of swathes of northern and western Iraq in the summer of 2014.

The non-binding independence vote is planned for the three northern provinces of Dohuk, Sulaimani and Irbil that make up the autonomous Kurdistan region.

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"There is no other way to guarantee that genocide will never be repeated", Khoshnaw told the assembly earlier, referring to the persecution of the Kurds and their expulsion from areas such as oil-rich Kirkuk under late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. On Thursday, Iraq's parliament voted to remove Karim from his post, a decision he summarily dismissed.

Iran backs the so-called Popular Mobilization Units fighting IS, raising the prospect that these militia could be turned against Kurdish forces in disputed territories.

Ankara, which has warned the referendum would come at a "cost", has close economic and political relations with the KRG and Barzani. It is also clear that the Kurdish region will not become independent on the day following the referendum.

Under this plan, a well-placed source told AFP, the global community will oversee negotiations on revenue sharing in Iraq's oil budget and payment for Kurdish militia fighters.

Jowhar said the session was chaired by the Deputy Speaker, as Speaker Yousif Mohammed Sadiq did not attend the session since his Gorran Movement is boycotting the session along with the Kurdistan Islamic Group, Xinhua news agency reported. It is also created to strengthen Barzani's position as a Kurdish nationalist leader.

The Kurdish region won autonomy in 2005 under a constitution that established a federal republic in Iraq.

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