Turkey calls on Kurds to abandon referendum

UN Security Council Warns Iraqi Kurds Against Referendum

Foreign ministers from the three neighbours of the putative Kurdish state met at the United Nations in NY on Wednesday.

Turkey's highest security body has branded as "illegal and unacceptable" plans by Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region to hold a referendum on independence.

"We will announce our final thoughts on the issue with the cabinet meeting and national security council decision", Erdogan said.

The Security Council stated that Turkey would reserve its rights arising from global agreements, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Yildirim spoke to reporters hours before Turkey's political and military leaders met to consider possible sanctions and other measures against Iraq's Kurdish region if it goes ahead with the vote on Monday.

President Masoud Barzani said Friday it was too late to postpone the independece referendum despite increasingly urgent calls from the worldwide community to delay the vote. It said Turkey reserved its rights under global and bilateral agreements to act against it. The town and the governorate are disputed between Baghdad and the northern Kurdish autonomous region, where a referendum on independence is scheduled to take place next week. Turkey has a large ethnic Kurdish population and is battling a Kurdish insurgency on its own territory.

Erdogan, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in NY, told world leaders on Tuesday that the referendum in northern Iraq could lead to fresh conflicts in the Middle East.

Since the KRG announced its plan to hold the referendum, most Western powers, including the United States and European Union, have voiced concerns that the poll could ignite a new round of conflict between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan, threatening regional stability and distracting from the fight against terrorism.

Turkey has been staging military drills near the border.

"It gives the right to send troops", he added.

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