Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi considered the planned Kurdish referendum on independence from the Arab country is "unconstitutional," warning that the Kurds are "illegally" exporting Iraq's oil.
"I call upon the Kurdish leadership to come to Baghdad and conclude a dialogue," al-Abadi said in a press conference in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Tuesday, a few hours after the country's parliament overwhelmingly voted against the plebiscite, which has been planned by the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri said the vote made it incumbent on the government to "take all steps to protect the unity of Iraq and open a serious dialog" with Kurdish officials.
The vote prompted Kurdish lawmakers to quit the parliament floor.
Al-Abadi further stated that Kurdish authorities were illegally extracting crude oil from the oil-rich territories in the northern province of Kirkuk and continued exporting the invaluable national resource. He did not give further details.
The Kurdish referendum is scheduled for September 25, but the central government in Baghdad is strongly opposed to the vote.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team