Turkey bars KRG envoy from returning from Iraq


Ankara on Thursday moved to bar Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) envoys from returning to Turkey.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Turkey's foreign ministry had issued a notice barring representatives of the autonomous government in northern Iraq from returning from Erbil.

"Solid steps have started to be taken [against the KRG]. Our foreign ministry has issued a notice for the person representing northern Iraq's Erbil administration not to come back from Iraq," Yıldırım told reporters at an event in Turkey's central province of Çorum.

He also said he had agreed with Iraq's prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, that Turkey would carry out "all economic, commercial and diplomatic relations" with the country through the central government in Baghdad.

Official preliminary results revealed that 93 percent of voters in Monday's illegitimate referendum backed Kurdish independence, although the vote was widely criticized by the international community.

Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including ethnically mixed Kirkuk and Mosul -- voted on whether or not to declare independence.

The vote faced opposition from most international actors including Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN, with many warning the poll would further destabilize the region and distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh.

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