Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Iraqi Kurdish referendum 'historic mistake': Turkey

Supporters of the Supporters of the"NO For Now movement attend a rally calling on Iraqi Kurds to vote against the referendum in Sulaimaniyah Thomson Reuters
Howard Terry | 15 September, 2017, 00:30

Turkey also welcomed the Iraqi parliament's decision to reject the KRG independence referendum slated for September 25. But the statement said Israel "supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own".

Al-Maliki did not say why the governor was sacked, but the move came after Kirkuk's provincial council voted to take part in a referendum on Kurdish independence slated for later this month.

The Kurdish minority in Iraq controls three Iraqi provinces, which enjoy a high degree of autonomy, having a regional government and their own security institutions.

Washington has likewise voiced concern that the poll could serve as a "distraction" from other pressing regional issues, especially the fight against terrorism and the stabilization of post-Daesh Iraq.

The neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran and Syria also feel that the move would threaten their territorial integrity, as large numbers of Kurdish population live in those countries.

Kareem is a vocal supporter of the referendum and campaigned for the vote also to be held in Kirkuk.

Israel's apparent support for the referendum has been roundly condemned in pro-government Turkish media.

Karim said the US Envoy encouraged him to keep calm after the today's vote to remove him.

The ministry added that it had welcomed the decision of the Iraqi Parliament that declared the expected vote illegal.

Iraq's parliament has voted to remove the governor of Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk from office, according to legislators present at the vote.

The move came after Iraq's parliament voted to remove the governor of Kirkuk, a staunch supporter of Kurdish independence. In a statement similar to Ankara's words, Baghdad said Iraqi Kurdish leaders must be prepared to "face the consequences" if they unilaterally declare independence.

There are fears a highly public vote for independence could detract attention from the war against Islamic State and stir up hostilities between the Iraqi government and Kurdish separatists.

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