Iraqi parliament removes Kurdish governor of Kirkuk

US troops using new base in Iraqi Kurdistan: Officials

An Iraqi lawmaker says parliament has dismissed the Kurdish governor of Iraq's ethnically-mixed Kirkuk province upon a request from the prime minister.

Western powers are anxious that the referendum in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, which includes the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, may divert attention from the war against the Islamic State.

Iraqi lawmakers authorised Abadi this week to "take all measures" to preserve national unity before the independence referendum.

The neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran and Syria also feel that the move would threaten their territorial integrity, as large numbers of Kurdish population live in those countries.

"It is easy to declare whatever you want but it is not so easy to realize it", Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told Reuters on September 13 on the sidelines of an Arab League summit in Cairo, where the closing statement included a resolution calling the Kurdish referendum plan.

Ankara has warned Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that there will be a "price to pay" for its insistence on holding an independence referendum later this month, calling on the administration in Arbil to think again.

Israel supports the creation of a Kurdish state.

"He (Kareem) is an elected governor of the council of Kirkuk", said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to President Barzani.

The next target of the Iraqi government might be Hawija District in southern Kirkuk Governorate, a referendum at such a time can do nothing but harm for the current situation. "This basically mean that the current leaders of Iraq don't want us to be their partners".

Zebari said on Thursday that the vote would still be held in Kirkuk.

Suhail gave no details about what Kareem accused of.

"We remain in our place, we are doing our work, and we are doing preparation for the referendum." the defiant governor said.

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