Iraq’s Kur­dish MPs OK vote on in­de­pen­dence

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES GLOBAL -

Er­bil: The par­lia­ment of Iraq’s au­ton­o­mous Kur­dis­tan re­gion ap­proved a plan on Fri­day to hold a ref­er­en­dum on in­de­pen­dence on Septem­ber 25, ig­nor­ing op­po­si­tion from Bagh­dad and the wider re­gion as well as West­ern con­cerns that the vote could spark fresh con­flict.

Par­lia­ment re­con­vened in Er­bil, the seat of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) in north­ern Iraq, where an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of the Kur­dish law­mak­ers tak­ing part backed the plan.

Af­ter the de­ci­sion, the White House pub­licly called for the first time on the KRG to can­cel the ref­er­en­dum, warn­ing that the vote was “dis­tract­ing from ef­forts to de­feat ISIS and sta­bilise the lib­er­ated ar­eas.”

Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi said that the ref­er­en­dum plan was like “play­ing with fire”, adding that if the Iraqi pop­u­la­tion is “threat­ened by the use of force out­side the law, then we will in­ter­vene mil­i­tar­ily”.

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