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Turkey: Iraq's Kurds will pay 'price' for independence vote

In this Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 photo, an elderly man sits in the center of Irbil near a campaign poster urging people to vote yes in the upcoming poll on independence from Iraq. Despite calls from Baghdad and the United States to postpone the vote, Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region is pressing ahead with plans to hold a referendum on independence September 25. Some officials within Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government describe the vote as a step in pursuit of self-determination, but the lead up to the planned referendum has highlighted the region’s lingering divisions and economic deficiencies.(AP Photo/Balint Szlanko)
September 13, 2017 - 11:25 PM

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey has warned Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region that "there will most certainly be a price to pay" for its insistence on holding an independence referendum later this month.

A Foreign Ministry statement released Thursday also welcomed an Iraqi parliament vote that rejected the Sept. 25 referendum as unconstitutional.

The statement said: "The (Kurdish region) should be aware that there will most certainly be a price to pay for insisting on its approach for a referendum despite all our friendly recommendations." The statement did not elaborate.

It described the Iraqi Kurdish leadership's "increasingly emotional statements" in favour of independence as "alarming."

Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population and is battling Kurdish insurgents, has forged close ties to Iraq's autonomous region but opposes an independent Kurdish state.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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