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Barzani Heads to Brussels to Tackle Independence Referendum with EU | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani. (AFP)

Erbil – The Higher Council for the Referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region affirmed on Saturday its commitment to holding an independence vote on September 25.

Head of the region Masoud Barzani is meanwhile scheduled to travel to Brussels next week in order to address the vote with European Union officials.

Media aide for the Kurdistan region’s presidency, Kifah Mahmoud, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Barzani will be making his trip to Belgium at the request of the EU.

The Kurdish people’s independence vote will be the first and most important topic of discussion with European officials, he said.

The president will explain the various aspects of the process and the reasons for holding it, he added.

“The EU has many questions over this issue,” Mahmoud said.

The region will invite all rights and media organizations to oversee the vote, he stated.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the region Amid Sabah told reporters following the Higher Council for the Referendum meeting that the affirmation of the vote date was “effectively the first step to holding the general vote in Kurdistan.”

The gatherers agreed on the council’s general structure and “we will then enter the implementation phase whereby the secretariat will chose its representatives at the council’s various branches,” he explained.

Members of these branches will kick off visits to Baghdad and various countries to tackle the independence vote and clarify it to all sides, he said.

The Higher Council for the Referendum meeting also stressed the need to resolve problems linked to the political process in Kurdistan and to adopt serious measures to improve the citizens’ living conditions.