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independence referendum

Iraq suspends flights to Kurd region over independence referendum

BAGHDAD: All foreign flights to and from the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil will be suspended from Friday, officials said, as Baghdad increases pressure on the Kurds over this week's independence referendum. The move by the Iraqi central government marks the first major step taken in retaliation for Monday's vote, which delivered a resounding 92.7 percent "yes". An extended suspension of flights would have significant consequences for the Kurds, who have turned Arbil into a regional transport hub that is home to a large…

Historic independence referendum for Kurdistan underway in Iraq

ARBIL: Iraqi Kurds are to vote in an independence referendum on Monday in defiance of Baghdad which has warned of "measures" to defend Iraq's unity and threatened to deprive their region of lifeline oil revenues. The non-binding vote on the Kurds  long-cherished dream of independence, initiated by veteran leader Massud Barzani, has angered not only the federal government but also neighbouring Turkey and Iran, concerned it could stoke separatist aspirations among their own sizeable Kurdish minorities. A total of 12,072…

Turkey’s Erdogan says Iraq should avoid independence referendum

ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday it was increasingly important that neighbouring Iraq remain a unified country and said a planned Kurdish referendum on independence should not go ahead. Authorities in Kurdish northern Iraq have announced an independence referendum on Sept. 25, and the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government told Reuters last week there could be no turning back on the bid for an independent Kurdish state. "The importance of Iraq's territorial integrity is increasing by the…