OIC says KRG referendum against Iraqi constitution, urges government to cancel vote

ANADOLU AGENCY
Published 23.09.2017 10:55
Updated 23.09.2017 10:56
Çavuşoğlu (C) speaks at the Extraordinary Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee  at the level of Foreign Ministers at Istanbul’s Swiss Hotel in August, 2017. (AA Photo)
Çavuşoğlu (C) speaks at the Extraordinary Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee at the level of Foreign Ministers at Istanbul’s Swiss Hotel in August, 2017. (AA Photo)

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Saturday urged Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) "to cancel the planned referendum as it runs against the constitution of Iraq."

The organization, in a statement it released, expressed ''deep concern'' over the KRG's planned independence referendum and urged them "to cancel the planned referendum as it runs against the constitution of Iraq and considering its negative impact on the current efforts to fight terrorism."

"The General Secretariat reaffirmed full commitment to working with the Iraqi government and with all Iraqi parties and factions for holding the national reconciliation conference with a view to achieving peace and stability in Iraq," the statement said.

The statement also recalled the joint press conference held by OIC foreign ministers following their Annual Coordination Meeting in New York on Friday.

The OIC member states' ministers, including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, ''expressed their concern over this referendum and called for adherence to the Iraqi constitution in order to preserve the unity, security and stability of Iraq.''

The non-binding referendum will see Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad -- vote whether to declare full independence from Iraq.

Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all spoken out against the poll, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.

Iraq's central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.

KRG's leader, Masoud Barzani, has said a "Yes" vote would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.

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