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    Kurds celebrate to show their support for the upcoming September 25th independence referendum in Erbil, Iraq

    Turkish Prime Minister Voices Support for Iraqi Steps Over Kurdish Referendum

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    The Iraqi prime minister's press service said Thursday that the Turkish prime minister supported the measures taken by the Iraqi government in view of the Kurdish referendum.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday expressed support for the measures taken by the Iraqi government after the independence referendum in Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan, the Iraqi prime minister's office said Thursday in a statement.

    Following the independence referendum on Monday, the Iraqi Council of Ministers took a number of counter-measures, including the suspension of all international flights to the airports located in the autonomous region, and announced plans to start legal proceedings against the organizers of the vote.

    "His Excellency Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi received a phone call from Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Mr. Yildirim stressed the Turkish stance in supporting of all measures adopted by the Council of Ministers and Representatives in Iraq to preserve the unity of the country," the press service said.

    Yildirim also indicated Turkey's commitment to cooperate with the Iraqi authorities to implement all necessary steps to establish Baghdad's control over the Iraqi land and air borders as well as supported the idea that "the export of oil should be through the federal authorities," according to the press service.

    The independence vote took place in Iraqi Kurdistan as well as in the disputed areas officially controlled by Baghdad but de facto under the control of the Kurdish authorities. According to the Kurdish Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission, the independence bid was supported by 92.7 percent of the voters. The referendum has been criticized by Iraq's neighbors, the United States and the United Nations.

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    Kurds, referendum, Binali Yildirim, Turkey, Iraq
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