Baghdad piles pressure on Iraqi Kurds to reverse independence vote

Deadline approaches for Iraq's Kurds to hand over control airports

Deadline approaches for Iraq's Kurds to hand over control airports

Arbil airport director Talar Faiq Salih said following a controversial independence referendum, all worldwide flights without exception to and from Arbil will stop following a decision by the Iraqi cabinet.

Earlier this week, Erdogan said Iraqi Kurds would go hungry if his country halted the flow of trucks and oil across the border, near where Turkish and Iraqi soldiers have been carrying out military exercises this week.

Iraq PM Haider al Abadi.

Iraq's central government has demanded the annulment of the referendum, which resulted in a huge "yes" for independence. These aspirations, ultimately, can not be advanced through unilateral measures such as this referendum.

Region al players Iran and Turkey have opposed the Kurdish referendum in Iraq, warning that the controversial vote could lead to further instability in the entire Middle East, a region already ravaged with numerous conflicts and terror threats.

Despite claims to stay "eternal friend of Kurds", Iran reportedly temporary banned its companies transporting petroleum products from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Wages, including those of Kurdish peshmerga fighters, were slashed after the end of those transfers, which were worth around United States dollars 12 billion annually and made up 80 per cent of the region's budget revenues.

The Kurdistan Regional Government considered the decision of the Iraqi authorities to suspend flights to the autonomous region as a "collective punishment" and a blockade, according to a statement published on the government's website on Saturday.

USA approach to North Korea is 'dead end road', says Russian Federation
But in the Korean Peninsula, Russia's increasing involvement is welcomed by one of the US key ally in the region, too. He said: "We don't think there's an easy military solution to this problem".

Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday said that Omar Mirani, representative of Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government's President Masoud Barzani was asked not to come back to Turkey.

On Friday, Iraq also imposed a ban on global flights into its Kurdish region, ordering foreign airlines to suspend travel to the airports in the cities of Erbil and Sulaimaniya.

The nonbinding referendum, in which the Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Iraq, will not immediately result in an independent state.

The drills will take place at several crossings on Iran's border with Iraqi Kurdistan, he said.

Erdogan expressed sorrow that Iraqi Kurds had acclaimed the recent independence referendum with Israeli flags.

Turkey, which has threatened to impose sanctions on the Kurds, said its border with northern Iraq remained open, although it may not remain so. It also called for the deployment of forces to areas that had been under Iraqi government control before Islamic State (IS) forces captured Mosul in June 2014.

Mr Abadi's office said on Thursday that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had agreed to deal exclusively with the central government over crude oil exports.

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