Erdoğan says Turkey will announce its plan regarding the KRG independence referendum

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in exlusive interview with A News late Friday that Turkey would announce its plan regarding the KRG independence referendum in the near future.

"We will announce our plan regarding the KRG referendum after the National Security Council meeting on Sept. 22," Erdoğan said, adding that KRG leader Masoud Barzani's was "very, very wrong."

The president underlined that importance of the issue, saying that Turkey has a 350-meter long border with Iraq and would therefore only the country's territorial integrity.

Ankara expressed its support for the Iraqi parliament's decision Tuesday to oppose the independence vote, calling on the government in Baghdad to negotiate with the Erbil-based KRG.

Iraqi parliamentarians on Tuesday voted to reject the nonbinding referendum planned to be held on Sept. 25, authorizing the Iraqi prime minister to take all measures necessary to preserve Iraq's unity.

A "yes" vote in the independence referendum would not spell immediate independence for the Kurdish region, since the referendum does not have legal force. However, Kurdish officials say they will use it to pressure the Iraqi government in Baghdad to come to the negotiating table and formalize their independence bid.

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