Turkey to announce plan on KRG referendum, Erdoğan says

Rosalie Stanley
September 17, 2017

Speaking to Panorama.am, political scientist Alexander Markarov said Iraqi Kurdistan's leader strongly supports the independence vote when, according to world powers, it can pose serious threat to the regional security and the issue of self-determination in a number of regions.

This week, top U.S. envoy Brett McGurk was again in Arbil and attempted to persuade the Kurdish leader to call off the highly-charged popular vote in exchange for a new diplomatic initiative.

Iraq's Kurdish region has enjoyed a high degree of autonomy since the US imposed a no-fly zone over northern Iraq after the 1990 Gulf War. "We have heard many empty promises until now", Mr Barzani told a rally in the Kurdish city of Dohuk.

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

The Gorran (Change) party and the Islamic Group, which have called for postponing the referendum to an unspecified date, boycotted the session, the parliament's first since October 2015.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that his country will hold a high-level security meeting on September 22 to decide its response to the planned Kurdish referendum on independence.

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A clear redline for Turkey is the status of Kirkuk due to its oil wealth and minority Turkmen, ethnic cousins of Turks backed by Ankara. He added though that President Barzani did not ake the finalk decision since it is a decision left to the Kurdish parties to make, including Barzani's KDP. Iraq's central government has rejected the polls as unconstitutional and illegal. Irbil and Baghdad have always been in disagreement over oil revenues and contracts the Kurdistan region has signed with oil companies.

The Kurdish leadership is yet to respond to the proposed alternative in the next two days.

The parliament session was the first held since the legislature was suspended almost two years ago, though only 68 of 111 lawmakers attended due to a boycott by the main opposition movement Gorran. "It's decision time", he said.

The referendum has become a potential flashpoint in the region, with Western powers anxious that it could fuel a conflict with Baghdad and distract attention from the war against Daesh.

According to Hurriyet Daily, Al-Abadi, meanwhile, told Yıldırım that the referendum is against the Iraqi constitution and that the global community is also against the vote.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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