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Kurdish Vote Hurts Trade, US Says

Kurdish Vote Hurts Trade, US Says”

The Kurdish official said that the reports quoted Pavel Talabani, the son of former President Jalal Talabani, who was expressing his personal opinion.

The president of Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan has vowed to go ahead with an independence referendum set for next week despite intense opposition by the Iraqi government and worldwide powers.

Turkey has repeatedly voiced opposition to the Kurdistan Regional Government's non-binding independence vote on September 25, urging it to cancel the poll.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces are continuing to clear the last pockets of territory that ISIS holds in Iraq.

Turkey, which is home to the largest Kurdish population in the region, fears that the Kurdistan plebiscite would embolden the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in its push for autonomy in Turkey's southeastern areas.

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"It is not possible for us to accept the postponing of the referendum either".

Turkey launched a military drill featuring tanks close to the Iraqi border last week, and on Saturday the Turkish armed forces said the "second phase of the military exercise continued with the participation of additional troops".

It said Turkey reserved its rights under global and bilateral agreements to act against it.

The most hotly contested area is Kirkuk, where Baghdad lays claim to the oil-rich province.

Yilmaz said that the referendum would endanger security in the region, adding, "Israel wants to use Barzani against Iran".

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The Syrian government hasn't commented on the Kurdish vote, but Kurdish officials see it as a step toward enshrining their project of a decentralized system - one they say hasn't faced the same objections as the Iraqi vote.

Yildirim said the mandate to be voted on Saturday gives the military "to intervene on all kinds of developments that are against our country and threaten our national security".

On Thursday, the UN Security Council warned that the referendum was "potentially destabilising".

"After the constitution of Iraq was drafted, we accepted it, but Baghdad did not comply with it. Article 140 of the constitution was not implemented", he said.

Under Iraq's post-Saddam Hussein government, the Kurds have significant autonomy.

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Kurdish leaders have also stressed that a "yes" vote will not trigger an automatic declaration of independence, but rather strengthen their hand in lengthy negotiations on secession with Baghdad.



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