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国际英语新闻:Iraqi Kurds reject AL chief request to postpone independence referendum

Source: Xinhuanet    2017-09-10  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

BAGHDAD, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region will go ahead with an independence referendum on Sept. 25 despite a request by Arab League (AL) chief to postpone it, the Kurdish regional government said on Saturday.

The rejection came after the AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit met with the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani in the city of Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region.

"Aboul-Gheit expressed his concern for Barzani on the referendum," the regional presidency office said in a statement.

The AL chief urged Barzani to postpone the referendum and to hold dialogue with Baghdad under international supervision, the statement said.

However, Barzani told Aboul-Gheit "the decision to hold the referendum is not a personal one to be postponed easily, but a decision of the people of Kurdistan and the political parties in the region," according to the statement.

Barzani said "the referendum will be held on time," after Baghdad government failed to meet its obligations in partnership, constitution and the agreements between Baghdad and Arbil during the previous stages, it said.

Earlier in the day, Aboul-Gheit arrived in Baghdad and met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to confirm AL's keenness to preserve Iraq's unity and revive dialogue between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region ahead of the latter's independence referendum.

The AL chief urged Iraqi leaders to focus on "completing the liberation of Iraq's territory and resorting to dialogue, as well as to abiding by the Iraqi constitution to resolve any problems," according to a statement issued by Abadi's office.

On June 7, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on Sept. 25, a step which has been criticized by Baghdad as "unconstitutional and illegal."

The referendum is opposed by other countries including the Iraqi neighbors Iran and Turkey, which both have sizeable Kurdish minorities of their own.


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