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Turkish defense minister urges KRG to call off poll

Turkish defense minister urges KRG to call off poll”

Canikli added that the referendum poses a serious threat to Turkey's national security, and it "would be declared null and void for us".

The Kurdish official said that the reports quoted Pavel Talabani, the son of former President Jalal Talabani, who was expressing his personal opinion.

"Kurds would be the main loser of the referendum", Secretary General of the Islamic Dawa Party Abdul Karim al-Anzi said, commenting on the Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani's insistence on going ahead with the referendum plan.

An Iraqi government spokesman says a delegation from the country's Kurdish region will travel to Baghdad ahead of the controversial referendum on Kurdish independence planned for Monday.

Iraq's chief of staff General Othman al-Ghanimi arrived in Ankara earlier for talks with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on the poll as well as the fight against terrorism, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

This week, the military launched previously unannounced military exercises near the border with Iraq as Turkey stepped up pressure on the Kurdish region to abandon the vote. The federal government in Baghdad is also opposed to the referendum, which it has called unconstitutional.

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In return, the referendum would be postponed until the end of the negotiations.

"It is not right for me to unveil them right now but at National Security Council and cabinet meetings we will discuss when these sanctions will be imposed and what the road map will be".

The vote comes days before the Iraqi Kurdish referendum, but the two elections are not related. The Turkish military held drills near the Iraqi border and said that such drills would continue to take place. It has built strong trade ties with the semi-autonomous region, which exports hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day through Turkey to global markets.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia urged Barzani to cancel the referendum to avoid further "crises" in the region.

The Turkish parliament convened for a debate and vote on extending a mandate that authorizes Turkish troop deployments to Iraq and Syria, and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim alluded to possible military moves.



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