Iraqi parliament "has no right" to remove Kirkuk's governor - senior Kurdish official


Iraq's Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani (L) receives Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit on September 9, 2017, in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq.

The governor of Iraq's oil-rich Kirkuk province condemned a vote by Iraq's parliament on Thursday to remove him from office as "unlawful" and vowed to stay in power.

On June 7, Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region announced that it had planned to hold a referendum on independence on September 25 to decide whether or not to secede from Iraq.

He warned the move would push Iraqi Kurdistan into "bigger isolation".

The decision sparked uproar and calls by member of parliaments and politicians to remove Karim from office.

Mustafa wrote on Twitter that the parties had "discussed latest developments and referendum", adding that the meeting was also attended by US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman.

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Following the meeting, the Kurdistan Region's Presidency issued a statement saying the decision to postpone the referendum could not be decided by a single individual or a political party, but needed a collective decision. 25 to cast their votes if no better alternatives leading up to the independence referendum were presented.

He did not disclose details of the plan, but said the discussion with the Kurdish leaders was "positive and constructive".

An Israeli general told in a conference in Washington last week that he personally does not consider the PKK, whose rebels have been conducting an armed rebellion against the Turkish state for more than three decades, as a terrorist group.

The Iraqi Kurdish government's "insistence... despite all friendly advice will definitely have a cost", the ministry said, advising it to turn back from an "erroneous approach". But it is only in Iraq where they have achieved a recognised autonomy.

Turkey and the USA are also opposed to the vote, with Ankara saying regional stability depended on Iraq's unity and territorial integrity.