Turkey, Iran, Iraq consider counter-measures over Kurdish referendum


iraqi-kurdistan-REFERENDUMANKARA: Turkey, Iran and Iraq have agreed to consider counter-measures against Kurdish northern Iraq over a planned independence referendum, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

In a joint statement, the foreign ministers of the three countries voiced concerns that the referendum would endanger the gains Iraq has made against Islamic State, and reiterated their fears over the potential for new conflicts in the region.

“In the meeting, the three ministers emphasized that the referendum will not be beneficial for the Kurds and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), and agreed, in this regard, to consider taking counter-measures in coordination,” the statement said.

The statement gave no details on the possible measures but said the ministers, who were in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly, called on the international community to intervene.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to impose sanctions against Kurdish northern Iraq. Turkish troops are also carrying out military exercises near the border.

Iraqi people visit Bekhal Waterfall in Erbil, Iraq September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
The central government in Baghdad, Iraq’s neighbors and Western powers fear the vote could divide the country and spark a wider regional conflict, after Arabs and Kurds cooperated to dislodge Islamic State from its stronghold in Mosul.

The statement said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and their Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari expressed concerns that conflicts surfacing as a result of the referendum would “prove difficult to contain”.

But the Kurds say they are determined to go ahead with the vote, which, though non-binding, could trigger the process of separation in a country already divided along sectarian and ethnic lines.

The three ministers also voiced their “strong commitment” to maintain Iraq’s territorial and political unity, the foreign ministry’s statement said.

Turkey, which has pulled forward a cabinet meeting and national security council session to Friday over the referendum, will also convene parliament for an extraordinary meeting on Saturday, the chairman of the ruling AK Party’s parliamentary group said on Thursday.REUTERS



8 responses to “Turkey, Iran, Iraq consider counter-measures over Kurdish referendum”

  1. While I am definitely on the bandwagon for a Kurdish state, it does present many obstacles before that occurs. Iran, Turkey and Iraq would be giving up some depending upon which map you read. Kurdistan would be land locked and dependent upon their cooperation as well as others. An up hill battle.

    1. Russia, the only major power that has not called on Iraq’s Kurds to cancel a referendum on independence next week, has swiftly become the top funder of Kurdish oil and gas deals, with as much as $4 billion pledged in less than a year, industry sources say.

      This map shows the number of Kurds in each country. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/80ecab954178f1fb8d14f182fac923b97e5a0d48f84456a4fff41bb1c83b4ad2.png A huge “second Israel.”
      With Kurdish independence the losers (financially and so on) are Iran, Turkey and Iraq.

    2. You’re on the bandwagon because Britain’s puppet-state, Israel, is shoving coal in the burner up front.

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar

        Russia is prepared to bomb US-backed #Kurds back to turkey where they came from. Traitorous Kurdish and SDF helping IS

  2. Hind Abyad Avatar

    Russia is prepared to bomb US-backed Kurds back to turkey where they came from. Traitorous Kurdish SDF helping IS.
    Assyrian Expert: Kurdish Self-Governance in Syria Will ‘Kill Christianity’ http://bit.ly/1nL39U9 via @BreitbartNews

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