Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Turkey has reiterated its rejection of a planned referendum by Kurdistan Region on independence from Iraq, with its foreign minister deeming the plans a “wrong decision”.
“We have said, several times, that the referendum of Kurdistan is a wrong decision, and today when I will visit Arbil (capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan), I will repeat what I said that the referendum is wrong decision which will create problems and a new crisis,” Ankara’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday for meetings with top state officials, said during a meeting with Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
“We hope that Arbil would retreat and cancel the referendum, as it is for the interest of the Kurds to preserve Iraq’s unity,” Xinhua quoted him saying.
Kurdistan Region gained autonomous governance based on the 2005 constitution, but is still considered a part of Iraq. The region was created in 1970 based on an agreement with the Iraqi government, ending years of conflicts.
Since it slated the controversial poll for September 25th, Erbil has stressed it was not backtracking on the plan.
Baghdad regularly argued the move was untimely as the country struggles to drive out Islamic State militants who had taken over large areas of the country since 2014. Ankara and Washington have also been opposed to the move.
“We will endure anything, but will not postpone the referendum even for a single minute,” Shafaq News website quoted Kurdish President Masoud Barzani saying Tuesday.