Iraqi PM Abadi asks parliament to remove Kirkuk governor

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony at the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires Argentina

"This is a very risky process".

Move to remove Najm Eddine Karim follows parliamentarians' rejection of Kurdish plans to hold independence referendum. He refused to give details.

A Kurdish leading party on Thursday rejected the decision of the move.

"Israel supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own country", Netanyahu said in a commentary sent to foreign correspondents from his office. He therefore said that the Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi did not have the right to send his name to the parliament to table a vote of confidence.

"I will stay in office", he told Reuters.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag later urged the KRG to cancel the referendum.

The ministry said it welcomed the decision made by the Iraqi parliament, adding that their vote was a "clear indicator of importance attached to Iraq's political unity and territorial integrity".

Baghdad and Iraq's neighbours are opposed to the vote.

Turkey has the region's largest Kurdish population and fears a "Yes" vote could fuel separatism in its southeast where Kurdish militants have waged an insurgency for three decades in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

Iraqi lawmakers say the referendum will consolidate Kurdish control over several disputed areas, including oil-rich Kirkuk.

Iraqi lawmakers sacked on Thursday the governor of Kirkuk over a referendum on Kurdish independence set for September 25 as Turkey warned the vote would "have a cost".

"We are depending on dialogue and also Arab, and non-Arab advocacy".

Kareem has long riled the federal government.

This is not the first time Netanyahu has voiced support for an independent Kurdish state - he backed the Kurds' "aspirations for independence" in a speech in 2014.

In another development, the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) on Tuesday boycotted a meeting held in Kirkuk between KRG President Masoud Barzani and ethnic and religious groups based in the city.

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