Turkey took 'strongest stance' against Iraqi Kurd poll
MİDDLE EAST

Turkey took 'strongest stance' against Iraqi Kurd poll

Parliamentary Research Center reports on global stance to independence referendum in northern Iraq

News Service AA

Turkey has taken the “clearest and strongest stance” against last month's Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq, according to parliamentary research.

The Sept. 25 illegitimate vote held by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) was opposed by regional powers such as Turkey and Iran, as well as Baghdad. The U.S. and UN also spoke out against the poll.

Calling the vote a threat to Turkey's national security, a report by parliament’s research center said Ankara “did not hesitate to take a position against the referendum despite its strong commercial, political and security relations with KRG.”

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The report, released on Thursday, added that Israel was the only regional power to back the referendum “thinking that an ‘independent Kurdish state’ would be a good partner for itself.”

The research group also said that U.S. criticism was focused on the timing of the referendum and did not object to it in principle.

The U.S. said the poll would disrupt efforts to defeat Daesh.

Iran had “clearly” rejected the poll while debate in Saudi Arabia was “dominated by the opinion that favored supporting Iraqi Kurds’ demands for independence”.

The report added that Russia and China had closely monitored the situation.

“Russian and Chinese energy companies have investments in the Kurdish region,” it said. “Although they did not have a determinant role in the demand for independence, it can be said that they were prepared for possible independence.”

The results of the referendum, which was held in disputed parts of the country as well as KRG territory, showed that nearly almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.

The poll led to Iraqi troops moving into the disputed region of Kirkuk on Oct. 16, removing KRG Peshmerga forces.

The KRG on Wednesday proposed a freeze on any moves towards secession from Iraq and begin talks with the federal government. It also proposed a cease-fire.

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