02:08 GMT22 October 2020
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    The Iraqi supreme court has ruled to halt preparations for the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, slated for September 25.

    "The court issued a ruling on suspension of referendum, scheduled for September 25, 2017, according to  the decree of the Kurdistan president, until a decision … on unconstitutionality of this decision is taken," the Iraqi supreme court's spokesman said in a statement.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said on Facebook on Monday that it was he who filed an application to the court to order the referendum suspension.

    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, Turkey, 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.

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

    Kurdistan’s authorities have repeatedly raised the issue of independence since 2005 when the Iraqi Constitution recognized the region as an autonomous entity.


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