CAIRO (Sputnik) — The Iraqi parliament voted against the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum planned by local authorities later in the month, Sky News Arabia reported on Tuesday.
Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim Jabouri said that the results of the vote in the parliament confirm the intention of the lawmakers to keep the country united.
The speaker voiced hope that the vote would oblige the country's Prime Minister Haider Abadi to exert maximum efforts to maintain the country's territorial integrity and to start a dialogue to settle the issues existing in relations between the central government and Kurdistan.
In June, Masoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan, set September 25 as the date for an independence referendum. The announced referendum has been widely criticized by a number of countries, including Russia, Iran and the United States. While Moscow voiced support for Iraq's unity and territorial integrity, Washington reportedly asked Iraqi Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani to postpone holding the region's independence referendum.
In 2005, the Iraqi Constitution recognized Kurdistan as an autonomous region that was run by the Kurdistan Regional Government. Since then, Kurdistan’s authorities have repeatedly raised the issue of independence.