Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Iraq dismisses Kirkuk governor amid dispute with Kurds

Iraq dismisses Kirkuk governor amid dispute with Kurds

Western officials have once again pressed on Kurdish leaders to cancel the 25 September independence referendum by threatening not to grant global legitimacy to the elections.

Jowhar said the session was chaired by the Deputy Speaker, as Speaker Yousif Mohammed Sadiq did not attend the session since his Gorran Movement is boycotting the session along with the Kurdistan Islamic Group, Xinhua news agency reported.

The President of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish Region, Masoud Barzani, brushed aside demands for postponement last month saying it was "absolutely impossible".

Ankara expressed support for the Iraqi parliament's decision Tuesday to oppose the independence vote, calling on the government in Baghdad to negotiate with the Erbil-based KRG.

The vote was to give a legal framework to the referendum that has also stirred protests from neighboring states, especially Turkey.

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Police sources said some police officers had died in the checkpoint attack, but the toll from that incident remained unclear. Health officials in the province said the death toll could rise because some of those injured are in critical condition.

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"The United States has repeatedly emphasized to the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government that the referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat ISIS and stabilize the liberated areas".

"To this date, we have not received an alternative that can take the place of the referendum. This referendum is not legitimate and we do not recognize it", said main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Spokesperson Bulent Tezcan on Wednesday.

"Holding the referendum in disputed areas is particularly provocative and destabilising", the White House added, referring to areas that are controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

The governor of Kirkuk was sacked by the federal parliament earlier this week over his support for a referendum.

The Iraqi Kurds fought an on-and-off insurgency for decades against the central government until the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 enshrined Kurdish autonomy in the Iraqi constitution.

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