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Arab League rejects Iraq's Kurdish independence referendum
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that there is an Arab consensus about refusing Kurdish independence referendum, the National Iraqi News Agency reported.
Iraqi Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Ahmed Gamal said in a statement that the Arab League council unanimously adopted a resolution refusing Kurdistan independence referendum, the report said.
This resolution came upon a request by Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Gaafari during the Arab League ministerial meeting, Gamal noted.
The Iraqi parliament has also voted to reject the independence referendum of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region slated for Sept. 25, a parliament source said.
"The majority of lawmakers during the parliament session voted in favor of a draft rejecting the referendum on the independence of Kurdistan region in northern Iraq," the source said.
Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurdish leading figure and former Iraq's finance and foreign minister, said earlier in an interview with Xinhua that the referendum will be held on Sept. 25, after all the official bodies in the region completed their preparations in all aspects of security and logistics.
On June 7, the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on Sept. 25.
The independence of Kurdistan is expected to be opposed by some countries because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and because it comes as the Iraqi forces are in fight against terrorism, including the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
In addition, the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran and Syria see that such a step would threaten their territorial integrity, as larger populations of Kurds live in those countries.
[Source: Xinhua, Bagdad, 13Sep17]
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