Kur­dish Par­lia­ment Backs Sept. 25 In­de­pen­dence Ref­er­en­dum


ER­BIL (Dis­patches) - The par­lia­ment of Iraq’s au­ton­o­mous Kur­dis­tan re­gion ap­proved a plan on Fri­day to hold a ref­er­en­dum on in­de­pen­dence on Sept. 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. Hours 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 (Is­lamic State) and sta­bi­lize the lib­er­ated ar­eas.”

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