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Presidency: People of Kurdistan, Kirkuk reject Iraqi Parliament's 'unconstitutional' decision

15 September 2017
Presidency: People of Kurdistan, Kirkuk reject Iraqi Parliament's 'unconstitutional' decision

"The referendum will go ahead as planned". "The government has not been able to display a determined stance against the north Iraqi referendum", said main oppotion Republican People's Party (CHP) spokesperson Bülent Tezcan on September 13.

Netanyahu's statement appeared to be an attempt to distance Israel from comments by Yair Golan, who recently completed a term as Israel's deputy military chief of staff.

He did not specify where he thinks it could be located.

Turkey has the region's largest Kurdish population and fears a "Yes" vote could fuel separatism in its southeast where Kurdish militants have waged an insurgency for three decades in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

The sacking of Najmaldin Karim came upon a request made by Prime Minister Haider Abadi after Kirkuk - an oil-rich province claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq - chose to take part in the referendum.

Hussein al-Maliki says that all Kurdish lawmakers boycotted Thursday's session, while Arab lawmakers voted in favor. That seems unlikely, since there is no legal requirement or incentive for Baghdad to do so.

Israel's apparent support for the referendum has been roundly condemned in pro-government Turkish media.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in June strongly criticised the referendum plan, calling it "an error" and "a threat" to Iraq's territorial integrity.

Israel has always been sympathetic to the Kurds and is the first country to officially endorse them in the vote.

They underlined the need for coordination among Iraq's neighboring countries in opposing the referendum and preventing separatist plots in the region that could cause numerous political, social, and security problems.

"Anyone is free to speak their mind", he told The Associated Press.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday backed the Kurds' aspirations for a state of their own, without specifically referring to northern Iraq.