Iraq parliament votes to remove Kirkuk governor

US troops using new base in Iraqi Kurdistan: Officials

The referendum for the independence of the Kurdish region in Iraq is a "historic mistake", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag has stated, warning that there will be a price and repercussions if this is going to happen.

The non-binding poll set for September 25 faces strong opposition from Turkey as well as from Iran, which fear it will stoke separatist aspirations among their own sizable Kurdish minorities.

Israel is the first and only country in the region to endorse the referendum while Turkey, Iraq and Iran all said they opposed the vote, which would bring instability to the region and divide Iraq, with the Iraqi central government calling it "unconstituonal". But the ethnically mixed city also has Arab and Turkmen populations.

Turkey - which for over three decades has battled the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in its southeast - is strictly opposed to any move to a Kurdish state anywhere in the region.

The United States, as well as the global partners, has suggested an "alternative path" to the Kurdistan Region's upcoming independence referendum, a USA envoy said on Thursday.

The people of KRG, especially Kirkuk, will not be bound by the parliament's decision, a presidential statement said, adding the Kirkuk governor was elected to office and approved by the provincial council.

The move came after Iraq's parliament voted to remove the governor of Kirkuk, a staunch supporter of Kurdish independence.




Karim said the US Envoy encouraged him to keep calm after the today's vote to remove him.

Kurdish MPs in Iraq's parliament boycotted Thursday's vote, which was attended by 173 lawmakers in Baghdad.

Barzani has vowed to press ahead with the referendum and that the vote will be held on time, despite USA requests for it to be postponed.

Suhail gave no details about what Kareem accused of.

Asked whether parliament had the right to dismiss Kareem, Suhail referred to an article in Iraq's constitution which parliament used as the legal basis for the vote.

"We remain in our place, we are doing our work, and we are doing preparation for the referendum." the defiant governor said.

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