Iraqi parliament votes to lift sanctions on Kurdistan region banks

:: The Iraqi parliament voted on Monday to lift sanctions imposed on banks in the Kurdistan region over an independence referendum, two main Iraqi TV channels reported.

Lawmakers in Baghdad approved that sanctions be lifted after they had “fulfilled their purpose” by enforcing federal controls on the Kurdish banking industry, said a copy of the measure published by Baghdad-based Al-Sumariya TV.

The government will now enact the decision.

The sanctions included restrictions on dollar and foreign currency transfers and sales to four Kurdish-owned banks by the central bank in Baghdad.

A ban on direct international flights to and from the Kurdistan region, also imposed in retaliation for the Sept. 25 Kurdish independence referendum, is still in place.

The central government in Baghdad said the vote, which delivered an overwhelming yes for independence, is illegal.

In October, Iraqi government forces dislodged Kurdish fighters from several disputed areas including the oil region of Kirkuk.

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