World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday said beyond anything northern Iraq’s regional government has proposed, it must cancel outright the results of last month’s illegitimate referendum.
“Northern Iraq’s step back is an important step but an inadequate one. This referendum must be cancelled,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint press conference in Ankara with his Kosovar counterpart Behgjet Pacolli.
Cavusoglu said Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani is in a weaker spot now after the illegal poll, adding that in a one-on-one meeting he had previously warned Barzani about the consequences of the illegitimate referendum.
On Wednesday, the KRG -- fearing more military escalation by Baghdad -- offered to “suspend” the results of last month’s illegitimate poll, halt all military activity, and enter into dialogue with the central government.
Tension has steadily mounted between Baghdad and the KRG since Sept. 25, when Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in several disputed areas, including Kirkuk -- voted on whether or not to declare political independence.
The unconstitutional referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, with many warning it would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.