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17 September 2017, 12:48 | Katrina Lee
Q&A: Kirkuk Gov. Najmaldin Karim
But Kurdish region President Masud Barzani has said the vote is necessary because "all other bids" to secure full Kurdish rights "have failed".
Parliament reconvened in Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, where an overwhelming majority of the Kurdish lawmakers taking part backed the plan.
"Even if the independence referendum is held, Baghdad will not recognize its outcome".
An global delegation, including the United States, Britain and UN envoys, met with Barzani and presented the alternative path for the controversial independence referendum.
"That is why the United Kingdom has proposed new talks between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Government of Iraq on the future of the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad", said the Saturday statement, adding that such talks should be time limited and address all the issues of dispute between the two parties without preconditions.
"Holding the referendum in disputed areas is particularly provocative and destabilizing", it added.
Iraq's parliament voted on Thursday to sack the governor of oil-rich Kirkuk over his decision for the northern province to vote in a Kurdish independence referendum opposed by Baghdad.
KRG leader Masoud Barzani on September 15 said that the referendum will be held as planned despite objections from Baghdad, Turkey, the United States and other Western nations.
Kirkuk has always been the center of dispute between Baghdad and the Kurds, raising the prospect that conflict could erupt between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds.
Voters will face one question, asked in Kurdish, Arabic, Turkmen, and Assyrian: "Do you want the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Kurdistani territories that are outside KRI to become an independent state?" Irbil and Baghdad have always been in disagreement over oil revenues and contracts the Kurdistan region has signed with oil companies.
Iran, Turkey and the United States also object to the vote, fearing further instability.
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.
U.S. officials, however, remain insistent: "There is no chance that this referendum, which will be held on September 25, will be given global legitimacy ..." It is also created to strengthen Barzani's position as a Kurdish nationalist leader. It is claimed by both the Kurds and the central government in Baghad.
Baghdad recognises Kurdish autonomy in some areas of Iraq but the precise boundary of the Kurds' self-ruled region and the rest of the country is disputed.
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