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Erdogan says Turkey to consider sanctions over Kurdish independence vote: Anadolu

24 September 2017

President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani delayed on Saturday a scheduled press conference on the highly contested independence referendum as global pressure mounts for a postponement.

"The news conference will take place on Sunday and the time and venue will be announced later", Mr Barzani's office said when announcing the delay, without giving any further details.

The MGK said the plan was a "grave mistake" and "a step that directly threatens Turkey's national security" and called on Iraqi Kurdish leaders to scrap it.

People in the city fear the situation could deteriorate if the plebiscite set for Monday goes ahead, as the oil-rich province is disputed between the federal government in Baghdad and the regional government in Arbil.

Negotiations aimed at persuading Barzani to change his mind are still ongoing, according to officials close to the discussions.

"We conveyed our opinions [on referendum] clearly and without hesitation to our friends in the coalition".

A referendum of independence for the Kurdish region of northern Iraq is set for September 25.

Iraq's Kurdish parliament backs September 25 independence referendum
In recent years, there have been tensions between Baghdad and Kurdistan over power-sharing, oil revenues and territorial disputes. Yıldırım also called on KRG leader Barzani to turn back from the decision to hold the vote, calling it "a grave mistake".

In New York, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday demanded that Iraqi Kurds call off the referendum, while hinting at consequences if they go ahead. Now, it might take a couple of years to get to independence.

The comments followed a warning from the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that the vote could have a "potentially destabilizing" impact on the region.

The council urged "dialogue and compromise" to address differences between the Iraqi government and the regional authorities.

Ahmed Al-Asadi said the Shiite militias were pushing west of the ISIS-held town of Hawija on Friday, after the formal launch of the operation to retake the area - one of the last extremist strongholds in Iraq - the previous day.

Washington's arrogant and condescending demand that the Kurds put off their vote reflects the longstanding hostility of the USA capitalist rulers to the struggle of the over 30 million Kurds for their own state.

"After the constitution of Iraq was drafted, we accepted it, but Baghdad did not comply with it. Article 140 of the constitution was not implemented", he said.

The ministers also said they were considering "taking counter-measures" against the Kurdistan Region, but did not provide details.

Erdogan says Turkey to consider sanctions over Kurdish independence vote: Anadolu