Sunday 17 December 2017 
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Turkey may impose bans on Iraqi Kurdistan if referendum held

Erdogan has threatened Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region with sanctions in case it goes ahead with plans to hold an independence referendum.

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region with sanctions in case it goes ahead with plans to hold an independence referendum.

 

Speaking to reporters outside his hotel in New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting, on Tuesday, Erdogan said his cabinet was due to discuss possible sanctions on the Iraqi Kurdistan when it convenes on Friday, state news agency Anadolu reported.

 

“As the national security council, we will advise the government on our decision. With it, the cabinet will meet and discuss this. It will both evaluate this and put forth their own stance on what kind of sanctions we can impose, or if we will, but these will not be ordinary,” the Turkish president said.

 

“We will announce our final thoughts on the issue with the cabinet meeting and national security council decision,” Erdogan said. “I think it would be better if they saw this.”

 

Addressing world leaders at the UNGA on Tuesday, Erdogan cautioned that the upcoming referendum in northern Iraq could lead to new conflicts in the Middle East, without elaborating.

 

Echoing Erdogan, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli reiterated Ankara’s opposition to the planned Kurdish vote during a Tuesday speech in the capital Ankara, warning that the disintegration of Iraq could lead to fresh conflicts.




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