Kurdish referendum will not be granted worldwide legitimacy

Envoy to the Global anti-ISIS Coalition Brett Mc Gurk and Kirkuk Governor Nakmaldin Karim pose for

Envoy to the Global anti-ISIS Coalition Brett Mc Gurk and Kirkuk Governor Nakmaldin Karim pose for

The White House urged Iraq's Kurdish leaders to cancel the September 25 vote on independence, saying the move is a distraction from the efforts to defeat Daesh.

The United States has proposed unspecified "alternatives" to the poll.

The US and other Western powers have expressed opposition to Kurdistan's independence vote, fearing it will fuel regional unrest and distract attention from ongoing campaigns to rout Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The parliament session was the first held since the legislature was suspended almost two years ago, though only 68 of 111 lawmakers attended due to a boycott by the main opposition movement Gorran.

Some lawmakers wore Kurdish flags and rose to clap and sing the national anthem after the vote.

The non-binding referendum will see residents in provinces controlled by the KRG vote on independence from Iraq.

"We refuse to be their servants", he told cheering independence supporters.

Hurricane Irma strands manatees as residents rush to the rescue
He told a local Fox station that both manatees " swam off " once they were again surrounded by water. Then he spotted two stranded manatees.

"Protecting the territorial integrity of Iraq is a must".

"To date, we have not received an alternative that can replace the referendum, the alternative that we wanted was not offered", he said.

The UK Foreign Office said in order for the Iraqi Kurds to settle their disputes with the central government, they had better engage in dialogue with Baghdad and set aside plans for independence.

Earlier, the two major Kurdish parties of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) announced that the Parliament session, originally scheduled on Thursday, would be delayed to late Friday to convince Goran Movement and the Islamic group to attend the first parliament session in two years.

Lawmakers from a third party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), ensured the required quorum.

Kirkuk has always been the center of dispute between Baghdad and the Kurds, raising the prospect that conflict could erupt between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds.

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