Iraqi parliament votes against Kurdish independence referendum

Iraqi parliament votes against Kurdish independence referendum

Iraqi parliament votes against Kurdish independence referendum

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday voiced his support for the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) controversial independence referendum in a move that defies regional and global powers opposing the vote.

Officials in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have said the northern territory would hold the independence referendum on September 25.

Earlier in the day, the parliament received a demand from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asking the lawmakers to vote to remove Najm al-Din Kareem from his post as governor of Kirkuk province, the state-run Iraqiya Channel said.

Jaafari was in Cairo for an Arab League summit where the closing statement included a resolution calling a Kurdish independence referendum this month unconstitutional, mirroring the stance of Iraq's central government and national parliament.

Turkey urges the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government to abandon the referendum that could result in tensions in the region.

A Kurdish leading party on Thursday rejected the decision of the move.

The ministry said it welcomed the decision made by the Iraqi parliament, adding that its vote was a "clear indicator of importance attached to Iraq's political unity and territorial integrity".

He said Iran and Turkey believe that if the referendum is held, it would be a basis for more tensions and conflicts in Iraq.

"The Iraqi government is punishing the Kurdistan region". Iraqi lawmakers say it will consolidate Kurdish control over several disputed areas, including oil-rich Kirkuk.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday backed the Kurds' aspirations for a state of their own, without specifically referring to northern Iraq.

Iraqi Kurdistan has effectively been a semi-autonomous state since the fall of Saddam Hussein more than a decade ago, but support for full independence has always been opposed by Turkey, Iran and Syria, who fear it could fan separatist uprisings among their own ethnic Kurds.

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