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Kurdish leader calls for a non-binding independence referendum

The president of the autonomous region, Kurdistan, on Tuesday called for a non-binding referendum of the independence of the region.

"The time has come and the situation is now suitable for the Kurdish people to make a decision through a referendum on their fate," Mr Barzani was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"That referendum does not mean proclaiming statehood, but rather to know the will and opinion of the Kurdish people about independence and for the Kurdish political leadership to execute the will of the people at the appropriate time and conditions."

"If the people of Kurdistan are waiting for someone else to present the right of self-determination as a gift, independence will never be obtained. That right exists and the people of Kurdistan must demand it and put it into motion."

"The same way that Scotland, Catalonia and Quebec and other places have the right to express their opinions about their destiny, Kurdistan too has the right, and it's non-negotiable".