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Iraqi Kurds face isolation after vote on independence

Iraqi Kurds face isolation after vote on independence”

"We are not looking for military confrontation", Abadi said.

"We will impose Iraqi law in the entire region of Kurdistan under the constitution", he said. Turnout was more than 72 per cent.

Pursuing a long-cherished dream of statehood, the Kurds went ahead with the referendum in defiance of widespread objections, including from the United Nations and US. The referendum was opposed by Baghdad as well as a number of other countries, including Iran and Turkey, which also have Kurdish minorities.

The US State Department on Tuesday criticized Abadi's ultimatum, calling for constructive engagement and dialogue.

The Council of Ministers also expressed the government's willingness for the next stage to engage in a dialogue with Baghdad and resolve all the stranded issues.

Bagheri's statement could mean Iran would allow Iraqi forces to be stationed on Iranian territory at the border with Kurdistan.

Baghdad has steadily pushed back against the vote. Turkey announced today its flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan would be suspended from tomorrow evening.

Yildirim spoke on the phone today with Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri during which they discussed the referendum and bilateral relations, the Turkish prime ministry said.

Iraqi officials said today that all foreign flights to and from the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil would be suspended from tomorrow.

Turkey has its own sizeable Kurdish minority and fears separatist aspirations growing from the vote as it already battles against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has bases in northern Iraq.

Along with Iraq's central government, Turkey, the U.S., Iran, and the United Nations have spoken out against Monday's illegitimate poll, warning it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region. He even suggested the possibility of a cross-border incursion similar to the one Turkey carried out against ISIS and Kurdish fighters in Syria.



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