Iran, Iraq, Turkey Issue Joint Statement against Kurdish Referendum

Therefore, any community with a permanent population within a territory under government rule can declare independence.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu's offer to mediate between Arbil and Baghdad is indeed a constructive approach, but as September 25 draws closer, the cost of backing down from the referendum will escalate for Barzani.

The United States also opposes the referendum, warning that it may not be able to help Iraq's Kurds negotiate a better deal with Baghdad if they go ahead with the vote.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has said a "yes" vote would not trigger an immediate declaration of independence but rather kick-start "serious discussions" with Baghdad. The Kurdish flag - not Iraq's - was erected over the city.

It seems that Masoud wants to realize his father, Mulla Mustafa Barzani's, dream of an independent Kurdish state.

"All the writing is on the wall that there will be another ISIS", said former Iraqi Foreign Minister and Kurdish politician Hoshyar Zebari, referring to the group by another of its acronyms.

The prime minister pointed to the global concerns over the consequences of the vote, saying, "The world is anxious, today".

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"The supreme court has issued the order to suspend organising the referendum set for September 25. until it examines the complaints it has received over this plebiscite being unconstitutional", it said in a statement. The referendum could raise particular tension in Kirkuk, where Kurds vie with Turkmen and Arabs for power.

Some parts of the disputed areas have been under the control of KRG forces ever since they defeated Daesh in the military operations that started previous year in October. Such opposition is largely driven by fears that a "yes" vote in the referendum, which is nearly certain, would enhance the nationalist aspirations of Kurds living in other countries and further destabilise the region.

"Taking control of the disputed areas with a de-facto movement could lead the country to a civil war", said Can Acun, referring to Abadi's statement. Nearly all United Nations member states oppose the referendum in the oil-rich region, including the USA and Iran. And of course the Iraqi government has made its position clear.

Turkmens will not be happy to live under a Kurdish state, but because their numbers are few, unless they are supported by Ankara, there is nothing much they can do should Erbil become independent.

Kurds in north Syria, like those in Iraq, have capitalized on the turmoil in both countries to consolidate a degree of autonomy.

Turkey launched a military drill featuring tanks close to the Iraqi border on Monday, its army said.

"Unlike other countries, Turkey has expressed a tough stance since it sees a threat in this process and insists to cancel the referendum". It merely seeks to acknowledge the wishes of the Kurdistani people on their future - an internationally recognised right.

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