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Turkey, Iran and Iraq pressure Kurds to stop independence vote

Europe
21.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - The foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Iraq have warned of counter-measures if Iraqi Kurdistan goes ahead with what they called its "unconstitutional" independence referendum.

The three ministers agreed "to consider taking counter-measures in coordination" during their meeting Wednesday in New York, according to a joint statement from Turkey‘s Foreign Ministry.

The "referendum is unconstitutional and runs the risk of provoking new conflicts in the region, that will prove difficult to contain," the statement said.

Despite opposition from its neighbours and the US, the president of the autonomous region of Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, plans to go ahead with the September 25 vote.

The referendum has unnerved Iraq‘s neighbours - Turkey, Iran and Syria - which are worried it will encourage their own Kurdish minorities to break away.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Tuesday that his country will consider imposing sanctions on Kurdistan even as Ankara aims to maintain ties with northern Iraq.

Turkey also views the Kurdish vote as a threat to its national security. On Monday, the Turkish military launched a drill at the Iraqi border. Broadcaster CNN Turk showed footage of Turkish tanks and infantry still engaged in drills early Thursday.

 

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