Kurdish referendum will not be granted worldwide legitimacy

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The United States and Western allies pressed Kurdish leaders yesterday during a meeting in Duhok, northern Iraq, to postpone the referendum on the independence of Iraq's Kurdistan region saying it was "fraught with grave dangers".

On June 7, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region and the disputed areas outside the region on September 25.

"The referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat Daesh and stabilize the liberated areas", it added.

Mr Barzani was adamant that the vote would not be delayed. This includes parts of the northern province of Nineveh and the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, captured by Kurdish peshmerga after the Iraqi army collapsed in 2014 as the "Islamic State" swept through large swaths of the country.

Sixty-five of the sixty-eight parliamentarians present at the sitting in Erbil voted in favor of the referendum, Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported.

"We said before, but the time is now late for that, that if there was a better and more guaranteed alternative in place of referendum. then we welcome that". Mr Barzani says the referendum's "legitimacy comes from the people of Kurdistan, not from the outside". It is also clear that the Kurdish region will not become independent on the day following the referendum.

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"We will announce our plan regarding the KRG referendum after the National Security Council meeting on September 22", Erdoğan said, adding that KRG leader Masoud Barzani's was "very, very wrong".

Thursday, a senior USA official announced that Brussels, Washington, Paris, London and Baghdad had cooperatively developed an alternative plan to the contentious referendum.

The UK Foreign Office said in order for the Iraqi Kurds to settle their disputes with the central government, they had better engage in dialogue with Baghdad and set aside plans for independence.

Under this plan, a well-placed source told AFP, the worldwide community will oversee negotiations on revenue sharing in Iraq's oil budget and payment for Kurdish militia fighters.

"Those assembled in parliament today think this is a lawful session, but this is unlawful", Birzu Majeed, the head of Gorran's parliamentary block, told a news conference held while parliament was in session.