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Kurdish president calls for commission to investigate independence referendum

The referendum could come within months, President Massoud Barzani said.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   July 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM
| License Photo

KIRKUK , Iraq, July 3 (UPI) -- The president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region asked Parliament members Thursday to organize a referendum on independence.

Massoud Barzani did not offer a timetable at a private meeting of his Kurdistan Democratic Party, but earlier this week said a referendum was "a question of months" away. He added:

"Iraq is effectively partitioned now; should we stay in this tragic situation that Iraq is living? Of course, we are all with our Arab and Sunni brothers together in this crisis, but that doesn't mean that we will abandon our goal. I have said many times that independence is a natural right of the people of Kurdistan. All these developments reaffirm that."

After meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last month, Barzani said it was "very difficult" to picture Iraq remaining a single, united state.

Iraq, formed by borders assigned by the British nearly a century ago, now includes Kurdistan in the north, a Shiite minority in the south, and territory controlled by militant Sunnis of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between them.

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