Not too late for KRG head Barzani to step back: Turkish FM
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has urged the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to “take a step back” after its recent referendum, saying “it is not too late” and adding that Ankara “could restore ties” if the process is halted.
“If they turn back from this mistake, we will maintain our relations and we will behave the way we did in the past,” Çavuşoğlu told state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 3.
If KRG leader Massoud Barzani stops this process, Arbil will be able to normalize its relations with Baghdad, Ankara, and other regional powers, he noted.
Çavuşoğlu also stated that the Sept. 25 independence referendum in the KRG was “neither democratic nor legal,” adding that even some Kurdish parties in northern Iraq opposed the vote.
'YPG should be cleared from Afrin’
Meanwhile, the foreign minister also said the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin province, near the Turkish border, should be cleared.
“The presence of terrorists just across our borders poses a threat to us. It’s also a risk for the territorial integrity and national unity of Syria,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Noting that Turkey retaliates whenever YPG fighters attack Turkish positions, Çavuşoğlu said Ankara is determined to “entirely remove this threat.”