Iraq referendum : Parliament votes to reject poll on Kurdish independence

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with Iraq's Kurdistan region's President Massoud Barzani in Erbil Iraq

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Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi said he had received a letter from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office calling for MPs to vote on the dismissal of the governor, Najm Eddine Karim.

McGurk said the alternative plan was presented to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani by representatives of the USA, the United Nations and the U.K. during a meeting Thursday at the anti-IS coalition's command center in Duhok. "That is the only body that can remove him".

Turkey says Iraq's "political unity and territorial integrity" are vital to the region's stability.


He warned the move would push Iraqi Kurdistan into "bigger isolation".

Turkey has a substantial Kurdish minority which is sometimes estimated as making up around a quarter of its total population of just under 80 million.

Kurds are due to hold a non-binding referendum on 25 September on whether or not to declare formal independence from Baghdad.

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The official said the United States had also deployed a range of weapons in the base, including missiles, heavy artillery, tanks, armored personnel carriers and over 100 military vehicles.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that there would be a "price to pay" should the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq insist on holding the independence referendum.

Located 45 kilometers west of the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk, the city has been under the control of Daesh militants since June 2014, when the extremists' leader Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his self-styled "caliphate". "Kirkuk should be a symbol of coexistence for all ethnicities".

Both have been denied official independence referendums, but both are determined to vote.

Iran has also opposed the referendum plan, which is expected to be discussed this week in talks in Ankara between the Turkish leadership and Iran's chief of staff General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri.

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