September 14, 2017 / 3:22 PM / in 9 months

Kurdish leader Barzani condemns Iraqi parliament vote to remove Kirkuk governor: Kurdish media

(Reuters) - Kurdish President Massoud Barzani condemned the vote by Iraq’s parliament to remove the governor of Kirkuk from office on Thursday, according to local media reports.

Speaking at a pro-referendum rally in Zakho, a city in Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan, Barzani said that Baghdad had left no room for negotiations over the independence referendum, according to Kurdish TV channel Kurdistan 24.

The decision to remove the governor, Najmaddin Kareem, comes after Kirkuk - an oil-rich province claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq - voted to take part in a referendum set for Sept. 25 on Kurdish independence. The governor has said he will stay in office.

Reporting by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Toby Chopra

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