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Kurdistan to Hold Independence Referendum in September | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Kurdistan region’s President Masoud Barzani speaks during a news conference with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Erbil, Iraq December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Erbil– Iraq’s Kurdistan region will hold a popular referendum in September to decide on its independence and the establishment of a Kurdish State, a plan that will be most likely opposed by the government in Baghdad.

Following a meeting Wednesday in Erbil, chaired by President Masoud Barzani in the presence of different political factions, Wahida Yaqu Hormuz, a member of the Kurdistan Region parliament, said that participants have decided to hold the referendum on September 25.

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Hormuz noted that a number of committees, including representatives from the different political factions in Kurdistan, would be formed to prepare for the referendum.

She added that one committee would visit Arab states to discuss the referendum process; another would conduct a tour to neighboring and regional countries, as well as major world powers, while a third committee would meet with government officials in Baghdad.

Hormuz also said that political parties were asked to appoint their representatives within a deadline that ends on June 12.

While she noted that all parties present at the meeting have agreed on holding the referendum on September 25, the deputy stated: “From this day until the referendum, political parties in Kurdistan will work on reviving Kurdistan’s parliament and resolving pending economic and political problems with the aim to unify visions and national ranks.”

Wednesday’s meeting also set November 6 as the date for holding presidential and parliamentary elections.

In parallel with the referendum announcement, Iraqi forces cautiously advanced in West Mosul within a plan to regain the ISIS-held city before the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Iraqi Federal Police Commander Lieutenant General Shawqi Jawdat told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iraqi forces have regained 85 percent of Al-Zanjili neighborhood, which is located on the outskirts of the old town of Mosul.