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Abadi Does Not Want to Fight Kurds, Erdogan Supports Closing Borders | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Macron and al-Abadi at the Elysee on Thursday, REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Paris, Ankara — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed on Thursday that he does not want an armed confrontation with the Kurds in relation to the crisis of the referendum on independence held in the Kurdistan region on Sept. 25.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country would soon close the border with the region, and also spoke about a tripartite mechanism discussed between Ankara, Tehran, and Baghdad on closing the flow of oil from northern Iraq.

The Kurdish file governed al-Abadi’s talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday, although Iraq had in principal negatively responded to the French suggestion that stipulates Macron’s mediation in the crisis between Baghdad and Irbil.

Still, Paris did not amend its position regarding the crisis between the two sides. Macron again expressed the French position during his joint press conference with the Iraqi prime minister on Thursday.

He said France insists to mediate between Baghdad and Erbil, it refuses any escalation, particularly at the military level, and it is attached to the sovereignty of Iraq and the stability and integrity of its territories.

For his part, al-Abadi said: “We do not want an armed confrontation, we don’t want clashes, but the federal authority must prevail and nobody can infringe on the federal authority.”

The Iraqi prime minister discussed with the French president the Kurdish crisis, the war on ISIS and the need to annul the referendum on independence, and he urged Kurdish Peshmerga forces in disputed areas to work with Iraqi security forces under the authority of the central government in Baghdad.

“I call on the Peshmerga to remain an integral part of the Iraqi forces under the authority of the federal authorities, to guarantee the security of citizens so that we can rebuild these zones,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Turkey, Erdogan announced that his country would soon close its border with northern Iraq and shut its airspace in response to last week’s Kurdish independence referendum.

The Turkish president added: “We are demanding that the Kurdish government learn a lesson from their mistakes and take the appropriate steps to compensate them.”

Erdogan also announced that Turkey already established a tripartite mechanism with Iran and Iraq that would decide jointly whether to cut oil exports from Kurdish northern Iraq.