Turkey warns Kurdish referendum 'will have a cost'

Kristopher Drake
September 15, 2017

Earlier in the day, the parliament received a demand from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asking the lawmakers to vote to remove Najm al-Din Kareem from his post as governor of Kirkuk province, the state-run Iraqiya Channel said.

Analysts have little doubt that the September 25 referendum would result in a "Yes" for an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.

The ministry also expressed its support for Tuesday's decision by the Iraqi parliament to oppose the independence poll and called on the government in Baghdad to negotiate with the Erbil-based KRG.

Iran and Syria also oppose the vote, fearing it could fan separatism among their own Kurdish populations.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Thursday, said: 'We find the (Iraqi Kurdish) leadership's insistent stance regarding the referendum and its increasingly emotional statements worrying.

The Turkish government, which has recently restored diplomatic ties with Israel following years of estrangement, "is concerned that sovereignty for Iraqi Kurds would encourage its own Kurdish insurgents", says the news agency, while the U.S. believes a Kurdish vote "could destabilize the region and undercut the war on extremism".

A salesman in Irbil's bazaar selling patriotic and pro-independence ware talks with a customer in Irbil Iraq

At the same time, the fragile relationship between Israel and Turkey could be strained over Israel's support for Kurdish independence.

"He is an elected governor of the council of Kirkuk", said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani.

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

Kurdish MPs in Iraq's parliament boycotted Thursday's vote, which produced a majority for the governor's removal, lawmaker Husham al-Suhail told Reuters.

Asked whether parliament had the right to dismiss Kareem, Suhail referred to an article in Iraq's constitution which parliament used as the legal basis for the vote. He refused to give details.

"This referendum is ill-timed and ill-advised, it is not something we can support", he said, regarding the US' backing for the Sep.


Other reports by Ligue1talk

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