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Kurds will find it hard to implement independence, says Iraqi foreign minister

Kurds will find it hard to implement independence, says Iraqi foreign minister
From Reuters - September 13, 2017

CAIRO (Reuters) - Iraqi Kurdish leaders must be prepared to face the consequences if they unilaterally declare independence and find implementation more difficult than they expected, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said on Wednesday.

Jaafari was in Cairo for an Arab League summit where the closing statement included a resolution calling a Kurdish independence referendum this month unconstitutional, mirroring the stance of Iraqs central government and national parliament.

Jaafari told Reuters in an interview Kurdish leaders should think carefully before going ahead with any independence move.

Those who make such a declaration should bear the responsibility for it. It is easy to declare whatever you want but it is not that easy to actualize it, he said in his Cairo hotel room.

We are depending on dialogue and also Arab, and non-Arab advocacy. As we saw yesterday, the Arab diplomatic mobilization was attained by Arab foreign ministers, he said.

The Kurdish area of northern Iraq has enjoyed broad autonomy since the first Gulf War in 1991. Since the 2003 U.S-led invasion and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, it has been largely stable while the rest of Iraq has suffered insurgency.

Kurds are set to hold the referendum on Sept. 25 but Baghdad opposes it, with lawmakers voting to reject it. Iraqs neighbors -- Turkey, Iran and Syria --also oppose the referendum, fearing it could fan separatism among their own ethnic Kurdish populations.

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