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.
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.