TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Israel has no links to the referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence but sympathizes with the Kurds’ aspiration for independence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Israel was the only country that supported and recognized the Kurdish referendum in Iraq, adding that Israel though would not be able to help Erbil in the event of an economic blockade. Later Erdogan said that the Israeli intelligence services could have helped organizers of the referendum.
"Israel has no links to the Kurdish referendum except Israel’s years-long deep natural sympathy for the Kurdish people and their aspirations," Netanyahu said.
The independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan was held on Monday. According to the official results of Kurdistan’s Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission, 92.7 percent of the voters cast their ballots in support of the independence from Iraq. The independence vote is widely criticized not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by Iran, Turkey and a number of other countries and international organizations.