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Saudi Arabia urges Kurds to scrap independence referendum

AFP  |  Riyadh 

today urged Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani to call off a planned referendum on independence for his autonomous region to avoid further "crises" in Iraq and the region.

A Saudi official said Barzani should drop plans to hold a referendum "in light of the situation in the region and the dangers it is facing, and in order to avoid new crises".


He called on the Kurdish leader to make use of his "wisdom and experience", the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

Holding the referendum as planned on September 25 could have "negative consequences on the political, security and humanitarian fronts".

It could also "affect efforts to establish security and stability in the region, as well as efforts to fight against terrorist organisations and their activities," the official added.

Regional kingpin is the latest country to voice its opposition to the referendum in oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan.

But Barzani has so far resisted pressure from Baghdad and Iraq's neighbours Turkey and Iran, as well as from the United States and its Western allies, to call off the vote.

Iraq's supreme court has ordered the suspension of the referendum to examine claims made by the federal that it was unconstitutional.

The Saudi official called on "all concerned parties to engage in a dialogue that would serve the interests of the entire Iraqi people".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 20 2017. 20:42 IST
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