The leader of Iraq's Kurdish region, Masud Barzani, has asked the region's parliament to form a committee to organize a referendum on independence.
Kurdish lawmaker Farhad Sofi said Barzani "asked us to form an independent electoral commission to carry out a referendum in the Kurdistan region and determine the way forward."
Lawmakers said Barzani asked parliament to choose a date for the referendum but did not suggest a timetable for the proposed committee's work.
Barzani has recently said in media interviews that he wants to hold a referendum within months.
Kurdish forces last month took control of the disputed area of Kirkuk as Sunni militants swept northern Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on July 2 that he rejected statements by the Kurdish regional government that it will maintain control of disputed territory.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP