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Kurdish opposition parties refuse to attend 1st parliament session in 2 years
The Kurdish opposition Goran Movement and the regional Islamic group on Friday refused to attend the regional parliament session in Arbil, which planned to discuss the independent referendum slated for Sept. 25.
"Goran Movement decided not to attend the parliament session today, which is to be held at the request of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)," Shorash Haji, a leading figure and spokesman of Goran Movement, told reporters here.
Marwan Galali, head of the Kurdistani Islamic group, told the reporters "the (Islamic) group will not participate in the session today, because the Kurdistani parties could not reach a political agreement and a roadmap for the political future."
Meanwhile, the 111-seat parliament has 24 lawmakers from the Goran Movement, including the Parliament Speaker Yousif Mohammed Sadiq, who has been banned from entering Arbil for two years, while there are six parliament members from the Islamic group.
Earlier, the two major Kurdish parties of KDP and PUK announced that the parliament session, originally scheduled on Thursday, would be delayed to late Friday to convince Goran Movement and the Islamic group to attend the first parliament session in two years.
An international delegation comprised of the Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter IS Group Brett McGurk, Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jan Kubis, in addition to the U.S. and British ambassadors to Iraq, met with the President of the Kurdistan region Masoud Barzani and presented the latter an alternative approach for the referendum.
On June 7, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on Sept. 25.
The referendum has been opposed by Baghdad because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and would distract the ongoing fight against the Islamic State (IS) militant group by the Iraqi forces.
The neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran and Syria also feel that the move would threaten their territorial integrity, as large numbers of Kurdish population live in those countries.
[Source: Xinhua, Arbil, 15Sep17]
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