Independence referendum meeting on 7 June 2017
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of South Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) is to hold the long disputed independence referendum on 25 September 2017.
The region, which has had an inactive parliament since October 2015 will also hold parliamentary elections on 6 November.
Referendum committees have been formed by the KRG's out-of-term president Masoud Barzani and will visit foreign and neighbouring countries to discuss the referendum, according to Rudaw.
Four points agreed at meeting
A meeting was held with the top officials of parties within the KRG Parliament on Wednesday, excluding Gorran (Change Movement), which refuses to hold a referendum before the inactive parliament convenes again.
The following points were agreed upon by the attendees:
- First, 25 September 2017 was set for holding referendum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Kurdistani areas outside the region's administration.
- Second, from the end of the meeting until the date of holding the referendum, the parties will be working to reactivate the parliament and resolve the political issues for the sake of obtaining a national unanimity.
- Third, emphasising the maintenance of the livelihood and addressing the economic crisis of the people of Kurdistan, civil servants, other groups and the destitute people.
- Fourth, the formation of the referendum high council was decided on to be overseen by Mr. President Masoud Barzani. It was also decided on that the political parties have to appoint their respective representatives until 12 June 2017 to be part of some committees of the referendum and post-referendum.
The parties which attended the meeting: Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), Kurdistan Islamic Movement (KIM), Kurdistan Communist Party, Kurdistan Toilers Party, Kurdistan Toilers and Workers Party, Kurdistan Development and Reform Party, Erbil Turkmen List, Iraqi Turkmen Front, Turkmen Development Party, Armenian List in Kurdistan Parliament, Assyrian Democratic Movement, Assyrian Chaldean Popular Council.
Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Makhmour, Sinjar included in referendum
Masoud Barzani's senior adviser Hemin Hawrami also tweeted that areas contested between the KRG and Iraqi central government will also be included in the referendum.
Kurdish officials have said the referendum will show what the people of the region want and strengthen the KRG's position.
Neighbouring countries, including Turkey, Iran and Iraq have warned against the referendum, saying it could destabilise the area and have instead called for the protection of the integrity of current state borders. The US and European countries have also been tentative in supporting the independence initiative.
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