Thursday, September 21, 2017

Iraq, Iran, Turkey agree to counter Kurds' independence referendum

Kurds' independence referendum
Iraq, Iran and Turkey agreed on taking countermeasures if the semi-autonomous Kurdish region insisted to hold an independence referendum in northern Iraq, said an official statement on Thursday.

A statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said the Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to discuss the Kurdish plan to hold independence referendum slated for Sept. 25.

"The meeting is to take countermeasures in coordination with each other, considering that the constructive dialogue within the framework of the Iraqi constitution is the only way to address the problems between Baghdad and Erbil," the statement said.

The three FMs expressed concerns over the referendum that would endanger the victories of the Iraqi security forces against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, asserting that the referendum is unconstitutional and will spark conflicts in the Middle East region which will be difficult to contain, according to the statement.

The ministers pointed out the need to urge the leadership of the Kurdish region to abandon the referendum, stressing that it will not be useful to the Kurds, or the government of the Kurdish region, the statement added.

On June 7, the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on Sept. 25.

The independence of Kurds is opposed by many countries because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and it comes as the Iraqi forces are in fight against the IS.

In addition, the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran and Syria see that such a step would threaten their territorial integrity, as larger populations of Kurds live in those countries.

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