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Turkey says northern Iraqi referendum an issue of national security
September 16, 2017 / 7:08 PM / 2 months ago

Turkey says northern Iraqi referendum an issue of national security

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday that the planned independence referendum in northern Iraq is an issue of national security, and Turkey will take any necessary steps.

FILE PHOTO - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim attends a press briefing with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc (not pictured) at the Government Office in Hanoi, Vietnam August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

On Friday, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said the vote would not be delayed, despite requests from the United States and other Western powers worried that tensions between Baghdad and Erbil would distract from the war on Islamic State militants who continue to occupy parts of Iraq and Syria.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview on Friday that Barzani’s decision not to postpone the referendum was “very wrong”.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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