02:15 GMT23 February 2020
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    As the referendum of the Kurdistan region from Iraq approaches, the Iraqi parliament, which opposes the upcoming vote, dismissed the Kirkuk governor, who supports the independence bid in a move the country's prime minister called a "mistake."

    CAIRO (Sputnik) — The Iraqi parliament voted on Thursday to dismiss the governor of the Kirkuk province, which is in favor of holding a referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, a source in the deputy corps told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "The Iraqi parliament voted for the resignation of the governor of Kirkuk," the source said.

    Earlier this week, the Iraqi parliament voted against the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum.

    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 late March, Kirkuk authorities decided to raise the flag of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), an act which was met with criticism by the federal government. In early August, Kirkuk’s governor Najmaldin Karim told Sputnik that the region "has been and will be" part of Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi called the decision of the Iraqi province of Kirkuk to participate in the referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence  a mistake.

    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.


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