Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

McGurk describes parliament's vote to remove Kirkuk governor 'wrong', Karim claims

McGurk describes parliament's vote to remove Kirkuk governor 'wrong', Karim claims

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.

"The Iraqi government is punishing the Kurdistan region.

They asked us to keep calm", Karim said of his phone call with McGurk when asked about the meeting between a visiting delegation from the United States, United Kingdom, and United Nations with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani.

He went on to point out that the region's Turkmen stood in strong opposition to the KRG's planned referendum on Kurdish regional independence, slated to be held later this month.

A Foreign Ministry statement released on September 14 also welcomed the Iraqi parliament vote that rejected the planned Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) referendum on September 25 as unconstitutional, reported Hurriyet Daily.

The ministry added that it had welcomed the decision of the Iraqi Parliament that declared the expected vote illegal.

Iraqi lawmakers authorised Abadi this week to "take all measures" to preserve national unity before the independence referendum.

The Iraqi Kurdish government's "insistence... despite all friendly advice will definitely have a cost", the ministry said, advising it to turn back from an "erroneous approach".

He said Iran and Turkey believe that if the referendum is held, it would be a basis for more tensions and conflicts in Iraq.

"Barzani's referendum decision is a historic mistake".

Turkey has the region's largest Kurdish population and fears a "Yes" vote could fuel separatism in its southeast where Kurdish militants have waged an insurgency for three decades in which more than 40,000 people have been killed. He explained that the law for the Iraqi provincial election passed in 2008 stipulated that Kirkuk, unlike the rest of the Iraqi provinces, would not come under the authority of the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister.

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