Focus on Kurdish referendum as Erdogan leaves for US

ISTANBUL (dpa) - An independence referendum organized by Kurds in northern Iraq would be a key issue at Turkey's meetings at the United Nations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday as he set out for a five-day trip for the annual General Assembly in New York.
“We have 350 kilometers of borders there. We have our kin there,” Erdogan said, referring to Turkmen, a minority group in areas under the Kurdish regional government's control.

The parliament of Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan voted Friday in favour of holding a referendum on September 25, alarming neighbouring Turkey which has a large Kurdish minority.
“We will not say 'yes, go ahead' if you unfortunately turn this approach into a step towards Iraq's division,” Erdogan added.
Erdogan said he will raise the Kurdish referendum issue in separate meetings with US President Donald Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in New York.
“As far as I can see, we look in the same direction. That is the indivisible integrity of Iraq,” Erdogan said in reference to al-Abadi.
Both Washington and Baghdad reiterated their opposition to Kurdish regional government's independence referendum.

Sunday, September 17th 2017

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