Iraqi Parliament Rejects Kurdish Referendum Plan

Arab League Urges Iraqi Kurds for Dialogue With Central Government

Arab League Urges Iraqi Kurds for Dialogue With Central Government

Majid Shingali, a Kurdish lawmaker, said the vote was not binding and will not be accepted by the 111 member regional legislature.

Turkey, along with Iraq, Iran and Syria, also opposes the idea of Iraqi Kurdish independence, fearing separatism could spread to their own Kurdish populations.

"The referendum will be held on time".

"The Kurdish parliament will definitely have a response to the resolution when it convenes on Thursday", said Hoshyar Zebari, former Iraqi foreign and finance minister and now a senior adviser to Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani.

"We have a genuine desire to keep the Kurds as a component of Arab society", Abul-Gheit said, urging the KRG to resolve its longstanding differences with Baghdad through dialogue.

Iraqi lawmakers worry that the referendum will consolidate Kurdish control over several areas claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous KRG in northern Iraq.

The referendum on whether to secede from Iraq is planned to be held in the three governorates that make up the Kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the Kurdish and Iraqi governments but are now under Kurdish military control.

Kurdish leaders plan to hold the plebiscite not only in the three northern provinces where they have long enjoyed autonomy but also in other historically Kurdish-majority areas of Iraq that Kurdish forces captured during the battle against the Islamic State group.

Iraqi Kurdish officials have said the referendum would happen as soon as the ISIS war was over.

Earlier this month, Aboul Gheit visited Iraq, where he met with the country's leadership in Baghdad, and Kurdish leaders in Erbil.

Kurds have sought an independent state since at least the end of World War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East after the collapse of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire and left Kurdish-populated territory split between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

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