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Turkey vows to take "every measure" if Kurdish referendum endangers national security
Turkey will take "every measure" under international law if the Iraqi Kuru independence referendum on Monday endangers Turkey's national security, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday morning.
Turkey calls the independent referendum "null and void" and won't recognize the initiative because it lacks a legal basis and legitimacy in international law and the Iraqi constitution, according to a written statement released by the ministry.
The referendum threatens peace and stability in Iraq and the entire region, the statement warned.
On June 7, Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani announced his plan to hold a referendum on Sept. 25 for seeking independence of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region from Iraq.
Since then, Iraq, Turkey, Iran and the United States have all spoken out against the referendum, saying it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and further destabilize the region.
The Turkish Armed Forces have been taking a military drill near the Turkish-Iraqi border since Sept. 18, with the participation of tanks and heavy military vehicles.
The exercise area sits to the north of the Syrian and Iraqi borders and contains the Habur border crossing, which provides the KRG with its main access point to the outside world.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned on Saturday that Turkey's response to the planned independence referendum in northern Iraq's Kurdish region will have security, diplomatic, political and economic dimensions.
[Source: Xinhua, Ankara, 25Sep17]
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