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Why Spain is right to defend its democracy in face of Catalonia crisis

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

According to the Dublin-based lawyer Isabel Foley there is the need to defend the Spanish constitution for several reasons. In her dissertation the Lawyer express her point of view through different points. Beginning with the recognition of the excessive violence of the police during the referendum, she recognizes also that this violence has been used by the separatists themselves to show a picture of Spain as an Authoritarian country. The second point of her dissertation regards the Constitution, defined as a “democratic document negotiated in 1978”, and in this part she explains the Constitution itself and that there is not a dictatorship in the Country. The article shows also, at point 3 and 4, two other main points. The first one regards the prohibition of secession, according to constitution, and the second one illustrates how the same Constitution of Spain gives a great autonomy to Catalonia and to its Parliament. The last two points emphasize how the Constitution can’t be “torn up by the illegal and seditious acts of a tiny minority of its people – a minority too of the people whom the Catalan separatists purport to represent.” and that the parties have to dialogue between each other, but, at the same time, the Central Government has the duty to protect the unity of Spain.

Erdoğan, Rouhani agree KRG referendum is a foreign sectarian plot for division

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani delivered a joint press conference in Iran on Wednesday. “Iran and Turkey are the most important names of the region because of their power. In recent days, the relations of the two countries have further developed politically and economically”, said Rouhani, thanking Erdoğan for accepting his invitation for an official visit. “Our main goal is to ensure security and stability in the region. Sectarian discrimination is the plot of foreigners in the region. Both countries do not accept discrimination. Northern Iraq should make up for its mistake. We support the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria”, Rouhani said, rejecting the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) illegitimate referendum as a foreign sectarian plot for division. Rouhani added that Ankara and Tehran would confront the disintegration of Iraq and Syria. “The Iraq issue has become a priority on our agenda. We have already stated that we do not recognize the KRG’s illegitimate referendum. What is the northern Iraqi Regional Government holding a referendum on? There is no country that recognizes northern Iraq other than Israel. A decision made at a table with Mossad is illegitimate”, Erdoğan continued.

Turkey, Iran leaders to put heads together to keep region safe from growing threats

in EUROPE/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will pay an official visit to Tehran Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues amid growing tension following the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) referendum to secede from Iraq. According to presidential sources, Erdoğan is scheduled to meet with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his visit, which comes upon the invitation by Rouhani. A convergence has evolved between Ankara, Tehran and the Iraqi central government following last week’s illegitimate poll in KRG-controlled areas as well as disputed territories such as Kirkuk amid fears that the vote may lead to greater instability in the region and disrupt war with Daesh. Two days prior to Erdoğan’s visit, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar went to Tehran where he met his Iranian counterpart, Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri.

Abadi refuses dialogue with Kurds about referendum results

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the government of Iraq will not discuss the results of the Kurdistan independence referendum, a few hours after Kurdish supervisors began counting referendum votes. Abadi said on Monday (September 25) the referendum was “unconstitutional and illegitimate”. “We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum because it is unconstitutional”, Abadi added. He further said procedures have started to hold those responsible for the referendum, not the Kurdish citizens. Iraqi Government Spokesman Saad Hadithi told Voce of America on Monday that the central government in Baghdad would not admit the results of the referendum and it would hold dialogue with the Kurdistan Region as part of Iraq.

Initial results show 93% of voters support Kurdistan Independence

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Initial results have shown that 93 of Iraqi Kurds support Kurdistan independence from Iraq, the electoral commission supervising the independence referendum said Tuesday. RIA Novosti quoted the independent commission saying that, while vote counting was still running, initial results show that 93 percent of voters support independence, compared to 6.71 percent objecting. Those are the results achieved after counting 282.000 ballots, according to the commission.A representative of the commission said, however, that results can still change as the counting continues, with results slated for announcement on Thursday. It said nearly 3.3 million voters, out of 5.2 eligibles, took part in the polls, putting turnout at an estimated 72.16 percent.

 

Egypt voices ‘deep concern’ about Kurdish independence vote

in AFRICA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Cairo is “deeply concerned” about the possible secession of Kurdish-held parts of northern Iraq in the wake of Monday’s referendum on independence and called on all parties to avoid “unilateral measures”, the foreign ministry said in a statement. “The ministry expresses deep concern about the possible negative repercussions of a referendum for the independence of Iraq…despite repeated Arab and international efforts to prevent moving forward with the step”. Egypt urged all parties to exercise “self-restraint” and steer clear of “unilateral measures that could complicate the situation, destabilise Iraq and encourage a climate of chaos and tension in the region”. The ministry called for dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to reach a “comprehensive and satisfactory settlement”, saying it backs Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity. Also on Tuesday, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit expressed regret over the referendum. He voiced concern that “some parties have exploited the crisis to deepen divisions and fuel new conflicts in the region”.

Barzani refuses to suspend non-binding KRG referendum

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

RaqKurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani reiterated that the non-binding independence referendum scheduled for Sept. 25 would go ahead as planned. In a meeting with Special Representative of the United Nations in Iraq, Jan Kubis, Barzani stated that “the referendum was the purest form of democracy”. Barzani also said the KRG was open to dialogue with Baghdad and they could negotiate border and other issues in a peaceful atmosphere, away from conflict. Baghdad, however, rejects the planned poll, saying it will adversely affect the fight against Daesh, which still maintains a significant presence in northern Iraq. The Iraqi government also believes that holding the poll would violate the terms of the country’s 2005 constitution. Turkey also rejects the planned referendum, saying the region’s stability depends on the maintenance of Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity.

Erdoğan discusses KRG referendum with Iran’s Rouhani

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed the controversial Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) independence referendum with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over the phone, presidential sources reported. “The two leaders noted that not canceling the referendum will bring with it chaos in the region and they stressed the great importance which they attach to Iraq’s territorial integrity”, the statement released by Erdoğan’s office said. Iraqi Kurds in provinces controlled by the KRG in northern Iraq, including those who are contested between the central government and KRG, are set to head to polls on Monday to vote in a controversial referendum on whether to secede from Iraq. Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the U.N. have all spoken out against the poll, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region. Barzani has said a “Yes” vote would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.

Saudi Arabia counting on the wisdom of President Barzani not to hold a referendum

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Saudi Arabia, speaking about the referendum to be held in the Kurdistan region of Iraq on 25 September 2017, said that with current conditions experienced by the region and the risks it faces it would be best to avoid new crises that may result in negative repercussions, political and security, as well as the dispersal of efforts to achieve stability and security in the region, including the fight against terrorist organizations and related activities. In line with regional and international positions on this issue, Saudi Arabia looks forward to the wisdom of President Massoud Barzani in not holding a referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, in order to spare Iraq and the region more risks that may ensue. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia calls upon the parties concerned to engage in dialogue in order to achieve the interests of the Iraqi people in all its components and to ensure security and peace in Iraq and preserve its unity and sovereignty.

Iraq’s top court orders suspension of Kurdistan independence referendum

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court ruled on Monday (September 18) to suspend a referendum on independence of Kurdistan scheduled for September 25. A statement by the General Secretariat of Council of Ministers said the court had ordered the suspension of all activities related to the Kurdistan Region’s referendum until complaints claiming the vote would be unconstitutional have been heard. The court approved Prime Minister Haider al- Abadi’s demand to consider “the breakaway of any region or province from Iraq as unconstitutional”, his office said in a statement. Kurds are set to hold the referendum on September 25 but Baghdad opposes it, with lawmakers voting to reject it. Iraq’s neighbors, Turkey, Iran and Syria, also oppose the referendum, fearing it could fan separatism among their own ethnic Kurdish populations. High Referendum Council said on Sunday the process of referendum on independence of Kurdistan would continue, just few days after representatives from U.N., U.S., U.K., Germany and France suggested alternatives to postpone referendum.

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