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High-Ranking Delegation from Erbil to Discuss Referendum with Baghdad Officials | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraq’s Kurdistan region’s President Massoud Barzani speaks during a news conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Erbil, Iraq December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Erbil- The Supreme Council for the Referendum in Kurdistan has decided at the end of its meeting on Sunday, under the supervision of President of Masoud Barzani, to reactivate the region’s parliament, form a committee to negotiate with Baghdad and establish a secretariat for the council responsible for organizing the region’s independence referendum on September 25.

A statement issued following the meeting said: “Barzani and Kuzrat Rasul Ali are required to form a Kurdish delegation for dialogue with Baghdad on the referendum, in addition to approving the activation of the parliament of Kurdistan within two weeks to solve the problems and support the draft referendum.”

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Barzani’s media advisor Kifah Mahmoud said the Supreme Council has held a “very successful and positive meeting”, noting significant progress in the relations between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Movement for Change, in particular following the meeting between the latter and the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

“There are clear positive outcomes with regards to the activation of the parliament, the resumption of the president’s role in exercising his authorities and duties to resolve ongoing problems, and the support to the referendum process”, Mahmoud stated.

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Youssef Mohammed is expected to return to Erbil within the next two weeks to resume parliamentary sessions and support efforts to hold the referendum.

The decision to activate the parliament comes two years following the suspension of sessions as a result of conflicts between the region’s political parties.

Earlier this month, the KDP has announced its agreement to reactivate the Parliament without any conditions for the sake of the referendum process.

According to well-informed sources, the high-level Kurdish committee would head to Baghdad to discuss the referendum with the Iraqi government in the first ten days of August, in parallel with the resumption of Parliament’s work.