Iraqi Kurdistan referendum, illegitimate: Pre. Erdogan

Marsha Scott
October 5, 2017

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in capital Tehran, Erdogan said: "What is the referendum organized by northern Iraq's regional administration for?"

"America and Israel benefit from the vote".

"Turkey and Iran must take necessary measures against the vote", Khamenei was quoted as saying.

"The Iraqi Kurdish secession vote is an act of betrayal toward the entire region", he went on.

It may be noted that on 25th September, in a referendum, around 93 percent of Iraqi Kurds voted in favour of leaving Iraq. "A referendum which was conducted by sitting side by side with Mossad has no legitimacy", he said, referring to the Israeli intelligence agency.

The independence referendum was opposed by many countries because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and it could undermine fight against Islamic State militants. The US, meanwhile, had opposed the vote, calling it provocative and destabilizing.

Slamming the decision to hold a referendum, Mr. Erdogan said that there is no legality of the referendum and rejected it.

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In addition to northern Iraq, the crisis in Syria is expected to be discussed.

Both leaders also agreed to trade in their respective currencies; and Turkey said it planned to import more natural gas from Iran.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 4 that Moscow would not interfere in the Kurdish referendum issue.

Iran has ordered a halt to all trade in fuel products with Iraqi Kurdistan and has said it will allow Iraqi federal forces to deploy at its border crossings with the region. Turkey had already shut down its border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Since 1984, the Kurdish rebel group known as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been involved in an armed conflict with Turkey, in an attempt to carve out an independent Kurdish state.

It is not excluded that the main point of negotiations between Iran and Turkey during the meeting of Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani will be further steps with regards to Erbil, said Coskun.

An official in Iraq's Kurdish region said that Iraqi and Iranian units began exercises at 11 a.m. local time "only 250 meters from the border". "Turkey will only engage with the central government in Iraq and we certainly term this referendum as illegitimate", he said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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