07:50 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Iraqi Kurdistan to 'Pay Price' for Independence Referendum - Turkey

    © AFP 2019 / FABRICE COFFRINI
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    Turkey urges the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government to abandon the referendum that could result in tensions in the region.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — The Turkish Foreign Ministry called on the authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan to cancel the planned independence referendum, warning that the region would otherwise "pay a price," according to a statement seen by Sputnik on Thursday.

    In June, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, set September 25 as the date for the independence referendum. Baghdad has repeatedly criticized the move and the Iraqi Parliament has already voted against the referendum.

    "If the authorities of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government insist on their approach to the referendum, despite all the friendly recommendations, they will pay a price. We call on them to abandon such approach and to be sane," the statement said.

    The ministry added that it had welcomed the decision of the Iraqi Parliament that declared the expected vote illegal.

    The referendum has been criticized not only by Iraqi authorities, but also by other countries. For example, Turkey and Iran, two states where Kurds also reside, have voiced a common position that the referendum could result in tensions in the region and called on Iraqi Kurdistan to cancel the initiative.

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    independence referendum, Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey
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