Turkish, Iraqi PMs agree to work together to prevent KRG referendum
ANKARA/BAGHDADTurkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi have agreed to work together to prevent a planned independence referendum in northern Iraq from taking place.
During a phone call on Sept. 15, Yıldırım told al-Abadi that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) decision to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25 is an “entirely wrong step,” while adding that Baghdad and Ankara need to work together to prevent the move.
KRG leader Masoud Barzani on Sept. 15 said that the referendum will be held as planned despite objections from Baghdad, Turkey, the United States and other Western nations.
Al-Abadi, meanwhile, told Yıldırım that the referendum is against the Iraqi constitution and that the international community is also against the vote.
He also said that Baghdad will make all efforts possible to prevent the referendum and the results of the vote won’t be recognized, adding that they will continue cooperation with Turkey on the issue.
According to a statement released from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office regarding the phone call, Yıldırım expressed concerns that the vote is a danger to “the security of the region and the safety of its people.”
Yıldırım also expressed his condolences over an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attack that killed more than 80 people in southern Iraqi province of Thi Qar, adding that Ankara will continue to support Baghdad’s fight against terror.