ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Binali Yildirim, prime minister of Turkey, and his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi reiterated Friday their shared opposition to a referendum the Kurdistan Region is set to hold on its independence in ten days.
Yildirim phoned Abadi to relay his condolences for an attack by the Islamic State (IS) group that killed at least 84 people and injured 93 others in Iraq’s southern Thi Qar province on Thursday evening.
A press release by the Turkish Prime Ministry said the two leaders agreed that Kurdistan's September 25 referendum was a "wrong step in all its entirety."
They also called on the Kurdish authorities to reverse the decision "while there was still time."
Kurdistan's President Masoud Barzani has over the past days repeatedly stated there would be no turning from the referendum on which he said only the people could have a say.
Iraqi and Turkish PMs described the move as "unconstitutional."
"Abadi said they would engage in every effort to prevent an outcome from the referendum, and not recognize it while cooperating with Turkey," said the statement from Yildirim's office.
Barzani on Thursday said the union with Iraq has not worked as Kurdish rights recognized in the federal country's constitution remained unhonored.
His remarks came during a public rally in support of the independence in the town of Zakho on the border with Turkey.
Earlier on Friday, Yildirim told reporters in Ankara that he hoped the United Nations would intervene in the Kurdish referendum without further elaboration.
Ankara fears Kurdistan's secession from Iraq, as well as a fledgling autonomy in Syria, would embolden its some 20 million strong Kurdish population's similar demands of political recognition and territorial self-rule.
Editing by Ava Homa