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Could Kurds hold independence referendum this year?

The Kurdistan Democratic Party is rushing to organize an independence referendum; however, there is no agreement on this matter among other Kurdish parties, and Baghdad, Iran and Turkey have strong reservations.
Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani speaks to the media during his visits in the town of Bashiqa, after it was recaptured from the Islamic State, east of Mosul, Iraq, November 16, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari - RTX2TYYB
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BAGHDAD — "The idea of a referendum has been re-energized," former Iraqi Foreign and Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a prominent leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), said April 5. Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said March 25, “The Kurdistan Region will hold a fate-deciding referendum this year.”

Barzani noted that “a united Iraq” does not exist, adding, “The result will not lead to immediate independence. But if citizens empower us to act, we will proceed with independence, and the international community will know what the Kurds want.”

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