Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Iraq top court suspends Kurdish referendum

Turkey could stop Iraq's Kurdish oil exports for referendum: expert Turkish military shares new photographs of drills near Iraqi border
Andrew Cummings | 20 September, 2017, 01:06

Russian energy giant Rosneft announced Monday it intends to help build a gas pipeline in Iraqi Kurdistan, a move bolstering Moscow's links to the region as it eyes independence.

The Kurdish authorities want to hold the vote on 25 September, despite opposition from the central government in Baghdad and the region's non-Kurdish population.

He said that hours later a police patrol that included the brother of the man who had been killed attacked another office, which set off clashes.

Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the United Nations have all backed Baghdad in speaking out against the referendum planned for the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq, saying the vote would distract from operations against Daesh and lead to greater instability in the region.

Rosneft has completed its due diligence on infrastructure of the export oil pipeline in Iraqi Kurdistan (KROP) and will shortly finalize the legally binding documents on oil pipeline project under the Investment Agreement signed at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2017.

Kurdish peshmerga fighters seized Kirkuk and other disputed territories when the Iraqi army was defeated by Islamic State in 2014, preventing its oilfields from falling into the militants' hands.

Iraqi Kurdistan has enjoyed regional autonomy since the 1990s, a status bolstered in the 2005 Constitution that defined Iraq as a federal state.

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On another interesting note, former White House advisor Steve Bannon announced in last August that he would support Judge Moore. In recent weeks he has attacked McConnell ally Flake, who is facing a primary challenge for his Arizona Senate seat.

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Recall that in 2007 Hamas after several weeks of civil conflict, seized power in the Gaza strip, ousting Fatah from there. Hamas has demonstrated a willingness to reach agreement with the Palestinian Fatah movement under the mediation of Egypt.

Iraqi Kurdish authorities have defied growing global pressure to call off the vote, which Iraq's neighbours fear will fuel unrest among their own Kurdish populations. A generator and satellite dish could be seen at one location.

The city is inhabited by several different ethnic groups and claimed by the Kurdish region and Iraq's central government.

Cross-border trade, however, appeared to continue.

Commissioning of the pipeline and first domestic supplies are planned for 2019, with exports to follow in 2020.

Turkey has brought forward to Friday a cabinet meeting and a session of its national security council to consider possible action.

At the same time, the Kurdistan Region is moving forward with its historic referendum on independence scheduled for Sep. 25.

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