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Elections for Syria’s Kurds, Russia Warns them from Separation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The central government in Baghdad opposes the Kurdish plans of the referendum [Azad Lashkari/Reuters]

London, Erbil- The executive committee of the Kurdish-controlled Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria encouraged Syrians on Friday to participate in the elections of bodies running local communities scheduled for Sept. 22.

For its part, Russia’s Hmeimim air base in Syria wrote on its Facebook page: “Moscow will not support the project of Kurdish separation from Syria. This issue contradicts our commitment to secure the unity of Syrian territories.”

Separately, Mohammed Haji Mahmoud, the Secretary of the Kurdish Socialist Party, which is close to Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday that the US, Britain, France and the UN have suggested tackling the situation in the Kurdistan region, including the referendum on independence, in a meeting to be held at the UN in return of postponing the referendum for two years.

Haji Mahmoud said that it was reported that Barzani insists he would postpone the referendum only if he receives a clear Iraqi recognition of the Kurdish right to determine their fate, in addition to an international and western guarantee in this regard.

Last July, the electoral and administrative division laws of the “Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria” revealed an expansion of the self-administrative system to three provinces including Arab-majority areas, which the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have liberated from ISIS.

The “democratic federal” system law established three administrative provinces run by the main Kurdish groups in the north.

Those areas include the provinces of Al-Jazira, Al-Furat (Euphrates), and Afrin.

Meanwhile, the parliament of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region approved to hold a referendum on independence on Sept. 25.

The vote was held in the absence of opposition deputies who called for boycotting the first session held since the legislature was suspended nearly two years ago.

Only 68 of 111 lawmakers attended due to a boycott by the main opposition movement Gorran.