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Iraq's top security body rejects Kurdish referendum

September 18, 2017 at 2:17 am

Iraq’s national flag [L] and Kurdish regional flag [R]

Iraq’s National Security Council rejected late Sunday a referendum for the independence of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, citing it is “unconstitutional”.

The council, chaired by Abadi, met in the capital Baghdad, said Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office in a statement.

According to the statement, the council rejected the Kurdish referendum citing it is “unconstitutional.” It added that the referendum was also posing a threat to the national security and unity of the country.

The statement added that the council emphasized the importance of solving problems through dialogue rather than risking the security of the country.

Read More: Iraqi MPs demand dissolution of Kirkuk province council

The non-binding referendum is planned to see residents in provinces controlled by the KRG vote on independence from Baghdad on 25 September.

The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas that the vote is planned to take place in.

Last week, Iraqi lawmakers voted against the Kurdish independence referendum and called on the Baghdad government to negotiate with the semi-autonomous Kurdish government.

The Iraqi government is opposed to the poll, claiming it will affect the war against Daesh, cause instability and violate the Iraqi constitution. Turkey and the US are also opposed to the vote.