Turkey: Independence referendum in northern Iraq will bring instability to region

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ANKARA, TURKEY - JUNE 12: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmus gives a speech during a press conference after the cabinet meeting in Ankara, Turkey on June 12, 2017. AFP

Turkish deputy prime minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş said on Monday that an independence referendum on Sept. 25 for the future of the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq will bring nothing but more instability to the already fragile region.

Speaking during a press conference after a weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday, Kurtulmuş said the referendum in northern Iraq would increase the turmoil in a shattered region with so many unresolved problems.

Therefore I am of the opinion that the leaders in northern Iraq and all political leaders in our region should think 10 times before taking a step on any issue,” Kurtulmuş said.

Underlining that Turkey has always backed the territorial integrity of Iraq in a bid not to escalate ethnic and sectarian tensions in the region, Kurtulmuş noted that the Turkish government also maintained good relations with the KRG.

The KRG government recently announced that it would hold a referendum for an independent state on Sept. 25.

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