00:54 GMT18 February 2020
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    Two main Kurdish parties - the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) - issued a joint statement, announcing the formation of a special committee, responsible for preparing the independence referendum in Kurdistan.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Representatives of two main Kurdish parties — the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) — agreed during a meeting on Sunday to hold a referendum on independence later this year, local media reported.

    According to Rudaw news, the Kurdish main parties issued a joint statement, announcing formation of a special committee, responsible for preparing the referendum.

    "The two sides, through a joint high committee, [are tasked to] discuss this issue with the political and national parties of Kurdistan to form a joint committee in order to set the timing and mechanism to hold a referendum," the statement read, as quoted by the media outlet.

    According to the statement, the Kurdish nation had a "natural right to decide on its political and administrative path in a referendum and an entity of an independent state."

    The Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, seeking creation of an independent Kurdistan. In Iraq and Syria, the Kurds are fighting against the Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) terror group, outlawed in Russia, while in Turkey, they are engaged in a conflict with state authorities.

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    Tags:
    independence referendum, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan
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