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Iraqi Kurdistan faces many obstacles to independence referendum

Amid a strong regional disagreement, Iraqi Kurdistan is insisting on holding a referendum on independence in the fall.
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

BAGHDAD — Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced May 24 that it had formally informed the United Nations Security Council of its intention to hold a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan through the UN special representative to Iraq, Jan Kubis.

The KRG is working on three levels to have this referendum held by the end of this year and make the Kurdish parties attain their goal. While the first level consists of solving the internal crises plaguing the various Kurdish parties, the second one consists of starting negotiations with Baghdad to secure “a smooth and peaceful independence.” The third level consists of reassuring the regional powers that independence will by no means damage the interconnected relations in the region.

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