Masoud Barzani to head to Brussels, U.S. to discuss referendum: official
Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani is to visit Brussels to discuss the referendum on independence scheduled for September 25 this year, a senior Kurdish official told Rudaw.

This comes after some political parties who are part of the referendum committee tasked with preparing the referendum held a meeting hosted by Barzani in Erbil on Saturday.

Hoshyar Zebari, a senior member of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) who attended the meeting of some Kurdish political parties on Saturday, stated that Barzani will make the visit to Brussels.

Barzani will head a high-level Kurdish delegation in the visit.

According to Rudaw in the meeting on Saturday it was determined to form two committees as “practical steps” whose missions are to hold negotiations with Baghdad and other countries regarding the referendum.

Hemin Hawrami, senior assistant to Barzani said that the delegation will "soon" visit Brussels. .

 Sadiq Jabari, who also attended the Saturday meeting representing the Kurdistan Socialist Party, said that Barzani will also visit the United States on the issue of referendum.

Jabari added that members of the referendum committee will visit the neighboring and the Gulf countries to rally support for the referendum.

The June 7 meeting between the majority of parties in Kurdistan and the Kurdish government set September 25 to hold an independence referendum in the Kurdistan Region as well as the disputed areas as defined in the Iraqi constitution.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) who had attended the June 7 meeting refused to send its representative to the Saturday meeting unless the suspended parliament is reopened.

Mahmud Sangawi, a senior PUK official stated on Saturday that though they support the referendum, their support remains conditional to the reactivation of parliament.

Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and Kirkuk Governor Najmadin Karim, both from the PUK attended the meeting on Saturday in their capacity as government officials.

Zebari talked to reporters after the meeting, claiming that both Talabani, and Karim “100 percent” represented the party, and that they were PUK representatives at the meeting.

Talabani’s media officer told the PUK Media, an official outlet of the party, Saturday that Talabani attended the meeting as the Deputy PM, and not as a PUK member, adding that he attended the meeting based on an official invitation to the KRG which he represented today in the meeting.

Gorran Movement and the Islamic Group (Komal) have long refused to attend meetings related to the referendum as they call for the reactivation of the region’s parliament.

The parliament has not convened since October 2015 when the speaker Yousif Mohammed, a Gorran party member, was barred from returning to the capital.

Reporter’s code: 50101

News Code: 16415  |  Date: 2017/07/09  |  Time: 9 : 16

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