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Iraqi Kurdish referendum 'historic mistake': Turkey

Iraqi Kurdish referendum 'historic mistake': Turkey
From Reuters - September 14, 2017

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey on Thursday welcomed an Iraqi parliament move to reject a referendum on Kurdish independence.

The parliament in Baghdad authorized the prime minister to take all measures to preserve Iraqs unity in response to the move to hold an independence referendum in Iraqs semi-autonomous Kurdish region on Sept. 25.

Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani vowed to press ahead with the vote, calling it a natural right.

Barzanis referendum decision is a historic mistake. Turkey will follow policies that take Iraqs territorial integrity as a basis, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said.

The northern Iraq referendum must be canceled, if not it will have a cost and retribution, he said, adding the move would erode the regions peace and bring security risks.

Turkey has the regions largest Kurdish population and fears a Yes vote could fuel separatism in its southeast where Kurdish militants have waged an insurgency for three decades in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

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