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    A man holds a printed banner of Kurdistan region referendum in Erbil, Iraq August 26, 2017. Picture taken August 26, 2017

    Kurdistan to Hold Independence Vote Despite Regional, Int'l Pressure - Official

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    A senior Iraqi Kurdistan official told Sputnik that the Iraqi Kurdistan would hold an independance referendum despite political pressure.

    ERBIL (Iraq) (Sputnik) — Iraqi Kurdistan will vote on independence regardless of international and regional pressure, head of the Independent Electoral Commission for Elections and Referendum in Kurdistan, Hendrin Mohammed, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "Unfortunately, there is a great deal of international and regional pressure, as you know. 'The Great Powers'oppose the vote. But we are moving ahead to the fact that the referendum will take place," Mohammed said.

    The official added that the recent decision by the Iraqi parliament to reject the referendum would not stop the referendum commission from preparing and conducting the independence vote as it follows only Kurdistan's autonomous legislation and orders from President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani.

    In early June, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the region from Iraq on September 25. The move has already been widely criticized by Iraqi authorities as well as by a number of other countries, including Iran, Turkey and the United States.


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