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Iraq Asks Turkey And Iran To Close Borders With Kurdistan

Sat, 7th Oct 2017 11:12

CAIRO (Alliance News) - Iraq has asked neighbouring Turkey and Iran to close their borders with Iraqi Kurdistan amid a dispute with the autonomous Kurdish region its independence referendum, state television al-Iraqia reported Saturday.

The broadcaster said the Iraqi Foreign Ministry had presented official memorandums to the Turkish and Iranian embassies in Baghdad also asking Ankara and Tehran to halt all dealings with the Iraqi Kurdish region.

"The ministry has also requested stopping all trade transactions especially those related to oil with the Kurdistan territory and that dealing in this file should be with the Iraqi federal government only," said ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub.

On September 25, Iraqi Kurdistan held a vote on its independence in a move that angered Baghdad and neighbours. More than 92% of those who cast ballots in the referendum voted for independence from Baghdad.

Baghdad has imposed a ban on international flights to and from Kurdistan's airports. It said flights would resume if the central government assumes control of Kurdistan's airports.

The plebiscite also alarmed Iraq's neighbours - Turkey, Iran and Syria - all of which are concerned that it could encourage their own Kurdish minorities to split.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that soon the airspace and borders to the Iraqi Kurdish region will be shut in reaction to the vote.

The US and other countries fear that Kurdistan's vote and its fallout will distract attention from ongoing campaigns against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Copyright dpa

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