losangelesnewstoday.com February 25, 2018

Turkey says Kurdish referendum plans illegal

24 September 2017, 12:32 | Katrina Lee

The entrance to the Peshmerga camp at Nawaran near a road checkpoint

The entrance to the Peshmerga camp at Nawaran near a road checkpoint

Turkey is convening a National Security Council - to be followed by a Cabinet meeting - on Friday as it steps up pressure on Iraq's Kurds to abandon the vote slated for September 25.

The Kurdish official said that the reports quoted Pavel Talabani, the son of former President Jalal Talabani, who was expressing his personal opinion.

President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani delayed on Saturday a scheduled press conference on the highly contested independence referendum as worldwide pressure mounts for a postponement.

Officials in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have said the northern territory would hold the independence referendum on September 25.

The KRG has said the vote is meant to give its autonomous territory a legitimate mandate to achieve independence from Iraq through dialogue with Baghdad and neighboring powers Turkey and Iran.

"If referendum is not cancelled, it will have serious consequences".

"Baghdad has stated very clearly and publicly ... that they will only accept a solution within the Iraqi constitution, a constitution that they themselves have not honored", Galbraith said. Turkish President Recep Erdogan has permitted military exercises on the Iraqi border and has threatened economic sanctions, which may include leveraging KRG dependence on oil exports through Turkey.

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"But we believe that the time is not right to hold the referendum and it may have an impact on the war against ISIS", the French ambassador said, according to the statement.

The head of the Kurdistan region of Iraq rejected all local, regional and worldwide pressure to postpone the referendum, saying: "They have been pressing us day and night".

Iraqi Kurdistan authorities have called the vote for September 25, drawing global criticism.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands in Irbil on Friday, Masoud Barzani says the fight against the Islamic State group in partnership with the Iraqi military will "continue" despite the vote.

Addressing parliament on a motion to extend the government mandate to deploy troops in Iraq and Syria, Nurettin Canikli signaled that he supports a peaceful resolution of the disputes between the KRG and the central Iraqi government in Baghdad.

It is in an area disputed between Baghdad and the Kurds who claim it is theirs historically, since Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein chased them out and replaced them with Arabs.

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