World Bulletin / News Desk
Arab League chief Ahmed Abul-Gheit on Sunday met with Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani in Erbil, where he urged the Iraqi Kurdish leader to postpone a planned referendum on Kurdish regional independence.
According to a subsequent statement issued by Barzani's office, Abul-Gheit had said longstanding disputes between Baghdad and Erbil (the KRG’s administrative capital) should be resolved through dialogue, and urged Barzani to delay the poll.
The meeting in Erbil came one day after Abul-Gheit met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad, with whom he also discussed the upcoming referendum.
On Sunday evening, however, Barzani’s office issued a second statement in which the KRG president ruled out the possibility that the poll would be cancelled or deferred to a later date.
Slated for Sept. 25, the non-binding referendum will see residents of northern Iraq’s Kurdish region vote on whether or not to declare independence from Baghdad.
The Iraqi government, for its part, rejects the planned poll, saying it will adversely affect the ongoing fight against the Daesh terrorist group, which still maintains a significant presence in Iraq.
Baghdad also believes that holding the poll would violate the Iraqi constitution.
Turkey, too, rejects the planned referendum, saying the region’s stability depends on the unity of Iraq and the maintenance of its territorial integrity.
Washington has likewise voiced concern that the poll could serve as a “distraction” from other pressing regional issues, especially the fight against terrorism and the stabilization of post-Daesh Iraq.
Frontier closes as Kurds vote on independence from Iraq
Airline clarifies flight from Turkey's Gaziantep province to Erbil was cancelled due to lack of passengers
Iraqis in KRG-held areas will vote on Monday on whether to secede from Iraq
The motion enables Turkish government to deploy troops in Iraq and Syria for another year
Ongoing airstrikes in northwestern Idlib province leave 35 civilians dead within last 96 hours
Rebel leaders have yet to comment on army’s assertions
The referendum runs against the constitution of Iraq, says Organization of Islamic Cooperation
State television carried footage of the launch of the Khoramshahr missile, which was first displayed at a high-profile military parade in Tehran on Friday.
Friends raised the alarm after being unable to reach Aroubeh Barakat and her daughter Halla Barakat by telephone.
Joint statement issued after foreign ministers' meeting voices 'unequivocal' opposition
Three years ago, Shia Houthi militia group and their allies overran much of the country, including the capital
Families will be allowed into the King Fahd stadium in Riyadh, used mostly for football matches, and seated separately from single men to mark the kingdom's 87th National Day this weekend.
Despite PKK’s terror campaign in Turkey, US continues to supply PYD – the PKK’s Syrian affiliate – with weapons
Three high-level Catalan politicians reportedly detained in attempts to block 'illegal' independence referendum
Sisi emphasised the importance of "resuming negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides to reach a comprehensive solution," the statement said.
Decision would ‘yield no results for the United States', Iranian president says