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US Does Not Recognize Iraqi Kurdistan Referendum: Tillerson
02 October 2017, 12:58 | Marta Robbins
Deadline approaches for Iraq's Kurds to hand over control airports
Jazayeri further said high-ranking commanders of Iran's Armed Forces held a meeting, chaired by Chairman of the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri, earlier in the day to discuss the Iraqi government's official requests from Tehran in the wake of the referendum. A Kurdish official at the Turkish border crossing described the situation there as "tense".
"We also call on the Iraqi government and the political powers represented in parliament in all their decisions and steps to take into consideration the preservation of the constitutional rights of our Kurdish brothers", it added.
"We will not allow even one single person from Iraq, from the Iraqi civil aviation, or from the office of the Iraqi Council of Ministers to come to Erbil and Sulaimaniya global airports without our decision", Kurdistan Transport Minister Mawlood Bawa Murad said on Saturday.
Iran strongly opposes independence for the Iraqi Kurds, fearing it will provoke separatists among its own Kurdish population.
Turkey has maintained a military presence around Bashiqa outside the city of Mosul much to the annoyance of Baghdad. "Baghdad's response to the referendum was very aggressive, so we don't know what will happen", the spokesman said.
On Friday, the U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said the United States government did not recognise the Kurdish referendum.
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Similarly, Washington also urged neighbouring countries to "reject unilateral measures and the use of force".
Kurdish officials have called the measures illegal and have pleaded for worldwide support in confronting threats from Baghdad, Tehran, and Ankara.
"An independent state is not being founded in northern Iraq, but on the contrary a continuously bleeding wound is being opened", he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today denied Turkish claims of covert involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan's recent independence vote, reiterating however his "sympathy" for the Kurdish people.
Mr Al Abadi's office, however, denied that was the objective of the meeting, saying the invitation was first extended when French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and defence minister Florence Parly visited Baghdad on August 26, and President Macron had made no mention of "the need to recognise the rights of the Kurds or stopping an escalation by Baghdad". The fact that the referendum question has come so aggressively to the forefront is precisely because ISIS has lost large swathes of its territory in Iraq and Syria, making it much less of a threatening force than it was just a year ago.
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