Turkish FM insists on ‘time limit’ for KRG
PARIS - Anadolu Agency
“There must be a time limit,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters in Paris following a meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
He said the KRG had to take necessary steps to cancel the result of the Sept. 25 referendum “within the given time,” calling the vote “illegitimate.”
“If necessary steps are taken within that time, then fine, but if not, then the demands and steps [made by] the Iraqi administration will be important for us,” he added.
Speaking about French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to mediate between Iraq and the KRG, Çavuşoğlu said Ankara supports all kinds of contributions for a solution to the issue between Baghdad and Arbil. But he said he doubted that a single country could provide it.
Çavuşoğlu stressed that Paris also supported Iraq’s borders and territorial integrity.
“France stressed that this problem should be resolved within this framework and in accordance with the current Iraqi constitution,” he said, adding that Ankara also saw the issue from a similar perspective.
“We have already spoken to the French administration today and we are also telling our other interlocutors that [KRG President Massoud] Barzani still can [correct] his mistake. He put the future of Iraq, especially the future of the Kurds, in danger by ignoring our calls before the referendum, but now he has to listen to this call,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu also said the problem should be solved as soon as possible for stability in the region.
On Sept. 25, Iraqis in KRG-held areas and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Arbil voted on whether to declare independence from Iraq.
According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence.
The referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, with many warning that it would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and further destabilize the already volatile region.