Iraqi parliament rejects Iraqi Kurdish referendum

By REUTERS
September 12, 2017 14:03

Turkey worried Kurdish question will spill over to their own country, Kurdish-Iraqi lawmaker Majid Shingali said the Kurds would not accept the rejection.

1 minute read.



Kurds

Kurdish Peshmerga forces celebrate Newroz Day, a festival marking spring and the new year, in Kirkuk March 20, 2017. (photo credit:AKO RASHEED / REUTERS)

BAGHDAD- 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.

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Kurdish lawmaker Majid Shingali said Kurds would reject the decision.

Kurdish girls dress up as Peshmerga fighters on ‘Flag Day,’ in Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan. SETH J. FRANTZMAN

"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.

A BULLET and the Kurdistan flag are seen on a Peshmerga fighter’s vest during a battle with ISIS near Bashiqa, Iraq, last year.  REUTERS

Turkey, along with Iraq, Iran and Syria, also opposes the idea of Iraqi Kurdish independence, fearing separatism could spread to their own Kurdish populations.

Kurds have sought an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East and left Kurdish-populated territory split between modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. 


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