Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani delivers a speech during a rally to urge people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on September 22, 2017. (AFP PHOTO)
BAGHDAD, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on Saturday denied the reports about postponing the independence referendum scheduled on Sept. 25.
"The reports about the Kurdish parties accepted the U.S. and UN initiatives and postponed the referendum, are not true," an official from the regional Presidential Office told reporters.
The Kurdish official said that Pavel Talabani, the son of former President Jalal Talabani who was earlier quoted by the medial reports as announcing the postponement, was only expressing his personal opinion.
Earlier, the Iraqi state-run Iraqiya channel said in a breaking news that the Kurdish parties decided to postpone the independence referendum, quoting Pavel Talabani, who is a senior member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
"After reviewing all of the alternatives, we (PUK and KDP, two main Kurdish parties) have concluded that the program offered by the United States, Britain, United Nations and so many other friends around the world, is the best path for Kurdistan at this time," Talabani was quoted as saying.
The KDP refers to the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by KRG President Masoud Barzani, who is leading the campaign to hold the independence referendum.
Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Region's High Council for Referendum also issued a statement on Saturday to refute the rumors about the postponement of the referendum.
The council reiterated that the plebiscite would be held as scheduled on Monday, the Kurdistan 24 reported.
On June 7, Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on Sept. 25.
The three countries fear the move would not only undermine the territorial integrity of Iraq, but also threaten their own security as there is a huge Kurdish population in their countries.
The Iraqi government has warned that it is ready to intervene militarily if the referendum leads to violence.
The United States has also called for postponing the referendum, citing it could distract from the ongoing fight against the terror group Islamic State (IS).
In another development, Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and his Iraqi counterpart Othman al-Ghanimi held talks on Saturday in Ankara to discuss the upcoming Kurdish referendum.
Al-Ghanimi reiterated the importance of preserving Iraq's territorial integrity and political unity, and the joint fight against terror organizations, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.
The two military officers also exchanged views on maintaining effective cooperation on border security and safeguarding the regional security and stability.
Addressing the parliament, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli on Saturday also urged the KRG to cancel the referendum, while expressing support to a peaceful resolution of the disputes between the KRG and the central Iraqi government.