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Last Western Attempt to Postpone Kurdistan Referendum | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Iraqi Kurdistan Region will hold its contentious independence referendum on September 25 despite misgivings by the United States (AFP)

New York, Ankara, Irbil- The foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq called on authorities in Kurdistan to annul the referendum on independence scheduled for next Monday.

During a meeting in New York on Thursday, the three ministers issued a statement saying they agreed to consider counter-measures against Kurdish northern Iraq in case they go on with the planned independence referendum.

The foreign ministers also expressed their “strong commitment” to maintain Iraq’s territorial and political unity.

Meanwhile, in Ankara, a Turkish official said on Thursday that the Turkish parliament would interrupt its holiday and convene an extraordinary meeting on Saturday to discuss measures to annul the Kurdistan vote.

Other reports said the parliament would also discuss extending the military mandate for Iraq, expected to end next month.

A Turkish cabinet meeting and national security council session are also planned for Friday to discuss the latest developments in Iraq and Syria.

In Irbil, informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the US, backed by western and international countries, is currently exerting efforts to postpone the Kurdistan referendum on independence for another two years.
Washington plans to provide an international attendance to accompany talks between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad concerning all disputed issues.

The sources said that “direct contacts” between Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi were never been interrupted.

Meanwhile, Washington reiterated on Thursday its strong opposition to the vote on independence, warning to cut off its diplomatic support and aid to the Kurdistan Region if the Kurdish authorities insist to proceed with the vote.

Last week, US special envoy to the coalition against ISIS Brett McGurk said that the US has proposed an “alternative path” to the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming independence referendum.

However, Barzani asserted on Tuesday that the region has decided to proceed with the referendum next Monday and asked for an alternative guaranteeing independence to be presented in three days.