Kurdish parliament to convene for first time in two years to discuss referendum

Baghdad: The Parliament of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan convened for the first time after two years of suspension, and is scheduled to discuss referendum on independence of the Kurdish region.

"The meeting will discuss the referendum of the Kurdistan region, which will be on 25 September, and will respond to the decision made earlier by the Iraqi parliament, which rejected this referendum," said Tariq Jowhar, media advisor of the Parliament, said on Friday.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

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.

Earlier, the two major Kurdish parties of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced that the Parliament session, originally scheduled on Thursday, would be delayed to late Friday to convince Goran Movement and the Islamic group to attend the first parliament session in two years.

On Thursday, the Kurdish regional government said it had received an alternative plan for the referendum on independence in Kurdistan on 25 September.

An international delegation, including the US, Britain and UN envoys, met with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and presented the alternative path for the controversial independence referendum.

The referendum has been opposed by Baghdad because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and would distract the ongoing fight against Islamic State militant group by Iraqi forces.

The neighbouring countries of Turkey, Iran and Syria also feel that the move would threaten their territorial integrity, as large numbers of Kurdish population live in those countries.

Updated Date: Sep 16, 2017 13:17 PM

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