News Worms
News Worms


Ditch independence vote, West tells Kurds

Ditch independence vote, West tells Kurds

Earlier Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country plans to hold a high-level security meeting on September 22 to decide what response to take over the Kurdish referendum, accused leaders of Iraq's autonomous region of "serious political inaptitude" for going ahead with plans to hold the vote. "This referendum is not legitimate and we do not recognize it", said main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Spokesperson Bulent Tezcan on Wednesday.

The move came after Iraq's parliament voted to remove the governor of Kirkuk, a staunch supporter of Kurdish independence.

"We refuse to accept the Iraqi parliament's decision, which was unlawful", Muna Qahwachi, a Turkman lawmaker, told Reuters.

We call on our Kurdish brothers to permanently postpone the referendum decision, Iraqi Turkmen Front Leader Ershad Salihi said Friday.

The United States and other Western powers also have opposed the move, fearing it could weaken the already shaky government in Baghdad.

But Kurdish region President Masud Barzani has said the vote is necessary because "all other bids" to secure full Kurdish rights "have failed".

Turkey, too, rejects the planned referendum, saying the region's stability depends on the unity of Iraq and the maintenance of its territorial integrity.

"The escalating tactics this week by the Iraqis are causing a large public backlash, and will strengthen the Kurdish referendum enormously", Zebari said. They say a Kurdish bid for independence will disrupt that cooperation and may result in a war between the region and the central government, particularly on the fate of disputed territories.

Iraq's neighbours Iran and Turkey also oppose the plebiscite, fearing an independent Kurdish state could fuel separatism among their own Kurdish populations.

US officials say peshmerga's cooperation with the Iraqi army played a critical role in removing IS from Iraq's second-largest city of Mosul.

IS in Iraq is on the verge of defeat, with Iraqi forces, backed by the USA -led coalition, recapturing most of the areas once controlled by the terror group. Both the central government of Iraq and the Kurds claim them as their own.

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